By Greg Lamm (August 10, 2022, 4:41 PM EDT) — The National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal environmental law when it approved commercial fishing off the coast of Alaska that put endangered orca whales in Washington waters at risk, a Washington federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones on Monday agreed with the Wild Fish Conservancy that the federal government’s approval of commercial fishing of wild Chinook salmon would leave endangered southern resident orcas without enough prey to survive.

Judge Jones adopted a September 2021 recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle L. Peterson, who determined the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental…

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