RFA hopes to keep marlin off endangered list

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A federal judge has decided to allow the New Jersey-based Recreational Fishing Alliance to participate in a lawsuit that could determine whether the white marlin goes on the federal endangered species list.

U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts granted RFA’s motion to intervene in the case at a June hearing in Washington, D.C., the organization said in a statement.

RFA says it wants to help the National Marine Fisheries Service defend its 2002 decision to keep the white marlin off the list. That decision is being challenged in a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network. The two environmental organizations want the white marlin listed either as “threatened” or “endangered” under provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

RFA says a court victory for the environmental organizations could lead the Fisheries Service to prohibit even catch-and-release fishing for the white marlin.