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Environment, Land, and Natural Resources: Fisheries and Aquaculture

As an international firm we provide comprehensive legal services for companies and organizations involved with seafood production, drawing on a wide range of legal capabilities. The complex legal, regulatory, and policy challenges facing the seafood industry are met by our team of lawyers and professionals with a deep understanding of fisheries and aquaculture issues. 

Our lawyers and professionals have handled some of the largest transactions and litigated some of the most contested cases in fishing industry history, and our firm has been at the forefront of every major legislative and regulatory change affecting the industry for over 40 years. Beginning with the passage of the U.S. Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1976, our firm has maintained a longstanding reputation for excellence in representing a wide variety of clients. 

We represent clients throughout the United States and across the globe, counseling seafood companies, aquaculture operations, trade associations, fishing vessel owners, fish and shellfish processors, importers, and domestic and international lenders and investors. 

Capabilities

Policy and Regulatory

We have extensive experience working with legislative and executive branch agencies at state and federal levels, and with international governmental bodies and officials. We regularly present the views of companies, non-governmental organizations, and coalitions to members of Congress and administrative agencies. Our lawyers regularly represent fishery and aquaculture clients concerning proposed regulatory changes, actions, proposed rulemaking, and negotiations with the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our experience also includes presenting fishery management issues before the regional fishery management councils and the National marine Fisheries Service. 

Our work includes advising vessel owners on the construction, documentation, permitting, and manning requirements to safety regulations, tax issues, coastwise and fisheries eligibility of vessels, and compliance with U.S. citizen ownership and control requirements, as well other requirements unique to the fishing industry. 

International Trade and Regulation

We advise clients on changes to importing and exporting regulations, rulings on customs and tariff classifications, cross-border transactions, foreign investment in the U.S., and management issues related to conservation regulations and organizations.

Transactional

Our lawyers frequently counsel and guide clients through acquisitions and divestitures of fishing industry vessels and related assets, complex transactions, taxation issues, real estate transactions, financing and restructuring, fishing and delivery agreements, processing arrangements, credit agreements, and international structured financial transactions. 

Litigation

We litigate cases arising under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, American Fisheries Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other environmental laws. We also defend clients facing enforcement actions by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal and state agencies.

Our fisheries and aquaculture practice has extensive experience advising clients on traditional maritime and admiralty matters, commercial disputes, U.S. Coast Guard compliance, government enforcement, employment matters, including matters related to U.S. citizenship, and antitrust issues. The group also advises clients in all manner of environmental issues, assisting assists clients in successfully navigating the maze of regulatory requirements, maintaining good relations with regulatory agencies, elected officials, non-governmental organizations, Native American tribes, and the public.

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