Thorny skate not to be on endangered list
The thorny skate’s population may have declined, but not by enough to justify listing it under the Endangered Species Act, the federal government has ruled.
Environmental groups had argued that the bottom-dwelling fish’s population loss in the northwest Atlantic Ocean was considerable enough to afford it protections set aside for endangered animals. But the National Marine Fisheries Service disagrees.
Documents published in the Federal Register state that the fisheries service has concluded the thorny skate is “not currently in danger of extinction” in all or a significant piece of its range. The service said the fish is also not likely to become in danger of extinction soon.
The agency agreed with the petitioners that surveys of the skate have declined over time. Recent catch surveys show less than 5 percent of the peak they reached in the 1970s, the report stated. However, the skates “remain numerous throughout the greater portion of their range, numbering in the hundreds of millions,” the report stated.
The thorny skate ranges from Greenland to South Carolina. Animal Welfare Institute and Defenders of Wildlife called on the federal government to offer the fish Endangered Species Act listing, which could have led to habitat protection or new fishing restrictions. 28 injured after vehicle plows into crowd in New Orleans: A man is in custody after 28 people were injured Saturday when a vehicle plowed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the MidCity section of New Orleans, police said. Police Chief Michael Harrison said the man was being investigated for driving while intoxicated. Harrison was asked twice by reporters if terrorism was suspected. While he didn’t say “No,” he did say it looks like a case of DWI. Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash.