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US green group sues for rare Hawaii dolphin by AUDREY McAVOY May 23,2012   |  Source: AP

An environmental group on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service to force a decision on whether it will put a population of rare dolphins living near Hawaii on the endangered species list.

Its species -- called "false killer whale" even though it's a dolphin and doesn't look like a whale -- is found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. But scientists estimate only about 150 or 170 live in waters less than 90 miles off Hawaii.

"The administration's own scientists found that the whales run a high risk of extinction within 75 years. Every day that this listing is delayed is another day without steps being taken to protect them," said Michael Jasny, a senior policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which filed the lawsuit at federal district court in Washington, D.C.

The National Marine Fisheries Service recommended 18 months ago that the population be listed. Under federal law, the agency had one year to decide whether to do so.

The agency has missed similar deadlines before, but Jasny said it's a "no-brainer" to list the dolphins.

"It represents our best chance to save them. Saving them could go a long way towards preserving the remarkable marine oasis of which they are a part," he said.

Fisheries service


© 2012 Bloomberg L.P.

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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