Judge wants plan to protect humpback whales from fishery

A U.S. judge says the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the law when it failed to develop a plan to prevent the harming of humpback whales by West Coast commercial fishermen catching sablefish. The ruling says the Endangered Species Act requires the fisheries service to develop a plan to reduce the number of whales accidentally injured or killed by the fishery. But the judge found the agency neither crafted such a plan nor started to create one. The agency says it is reviewing the decision and declined further comment. About 150 commercial fishing vessels use traps to capture sablefish in waters off California, Oregon and Washington.