In his decision, Judge Guidi said the the balance of hardships test was not met, which is required to issue a preliminary injunction. Judge Guidi said the Fund “has not met its burden of demonstrating irreparable harm” and that it was not shown that “Fish & Game could be adequately protected should the injunction issue.”
The Judge said a “threat of harm that is strictly financial or economic” did not constitute irreparable harm, since it’s possible for the court to later award damages to the Fund, thereby repairing any temporary harm.
The Judge also felt that “the evidence shows that serious harm to the health of that stock (king salmon) could result” if the East Side Set Net fishery were opened. He explained this would jeopardize the ADF&G’s constitutional duty to manage the king fishery “in accordance with the ‘sustained yield principle.'”
The Judge concluded that the management plan does not “mandate a certain number of extra fishing hours” for the ESSN fishery and denied the Fund’s motion.