WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the National Marine Fisheries Service to revisit a decision not to list the blueback herring as a threatened species.
In a ruling Saturday, a District of Columbia judge said officials failed to offer a rational connection between the facts and two essential conclusions, and also failed to consider other aspects of the issue.
Blueback herring live along the Atlantic coast. They are born in inland rivers, spend most of their adult lives at sea, then return to rivers each spring to spawn.
The Natural Resources Defense Council petitioned the Fisheries Service in 2011 to list blueback herring as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. The Service concluded, however, that the listing was not warranted.
The NRDC and other groups are challenging that decision.