SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Coast Guard is threatening the survival of the blue whale and other endangered species by not regulating ship traffic in the Santa Barbara Channel, The Center for Biological Diversity claims in Federal Court.
The Center claims the Coast Guard has not consulted with the National Marine Fisheries Service, as required by law, to ensure that commercial shipping traffic through the channel to two of the busiest ports in the world does not threaten the whale.
In 2007 alone, ship traffic killed at least three blue whales and probably many more that went undetected, the complaint states. Plaintiffs say the species is so imperiled that the death of just one can prevent the population’s recovery.
The plaintiff wants the court to order the Coast Guard to consult with the NMFS on the effects on ship traffic on blue whales and other endangered and threatened species, and an interim order to protect the species until the formal consultation is completed.
The suit also names Michael Chertoff as Secretary of Homeland Security and Rear Adm. Craig Bone as Commander of the Coast Guard as defendants.
Deborah Rivas of the Environmental Law Clinic represents the plaintiff.