A federal judge has ruled that a group of environmental organizations can continue its lawsuit against the U.S. government about the protection of endangered whales.
The Center for Biological Diversity and other groups are suing the federal government for failing to adequately protect North Atlantic right whales, which number about 400. The government moved to stay the lawsuit, but Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the request Thursday.
Boasberg wrote the whales have been "suffering unprecedented fatalities in the last three years" and delaying the lawsuit could jeopardize them.
The ruling was Boasberg's second of the week involving right whales. He ruled Monday that two fishing areas off New England must remain closed to certain kinds of gear to protect the whales.