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Farmed Salmon no Substitute on Wild Runs

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
17 March 2009, at 12:00am

US - A federal appeals court Monday upheld the federal government's discretion to use salmon raised in hatcheries to bolster wild runs, but not as a substitute that would lift Endangered Species Act protections.

According to Seattlepi, the ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco included the last of a series of lawsuits on behalf of a coalition of builders, farmers and property rights advocates to remove restrictions on development and agriculture that protect salmon.

It also covered a challenge by conservation groups to a decision by NOAA Fisheries to downgrade protections for steelhead in the upper Columbia River from endangered to threatened, says the news organisation.

"We are satisfied that the Hatchery Listing Policy is consistent with both the plain language of the (Endangered Species Act) and with the statutory goal of preserving natural populations," Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain wrote in the opinion. "We are also convinced the decision was based on the best scientific evidence available."

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