Mexico Reneges on International Dolphin Agreement

After arguing that the US should take "multi-lateral" action-obtain a binding international agreement to protect dolphins-in lieu of "unilateral" actions such as embargoes, Mexico and Venezuela have thus far failed to agree to any new accord.

At the negotiations sponsored by the IATTC in La Jolla in October, 1997, Mexico and Venezuela were unwilling to accept even the watered-down draft proposal of the US State Department. The State department's text included no mechanism to reduce dolphin deaths, nor did it require any binding enforcement provisions (fines, etc. against boat captains who harm dolphins).

Despite having pledged, in the 1995 "Panama Declaration," to support reducing the dolphin kill during tuna fishing operations, Mexico and Venezuala refused such language, arguing instead for maintaining a steady level of dolphin mortality.

Thanks to the efforts of Earth Island Institute and the Dolphin Safe/Fair Trade Campaign, the US legislation specifies that imports of tuna from these fishing nations cannot be allowed until an international agreement is completed and in force. Earth Island will continue to lobby for a strong and enforceable international agreement which truly protects dolphins and reduces other bycatch. EII will seek to block tuna imports until an acceptable agreement is completed.


International Marine Mammal Project
300 Broadway, suite 28    San Francisco, CA  94133
or fax 415/788-7324