Saving Dolphins from Tuna Nets

 

Keep the "Dolphin Safe" Tuna Label Honest: NO NETS ON DOLPHINS!

Earth Island's International Marine Mammal Project has led efforts worldwide to prevent dolphins from dying in tuna nets. The "Dolphin Safe" label found on cans of tuna means no dolphins were intentionally chased or encircled with deadly tuna nets, nor were any dolphins killed or seriously injured. Tuna fishing fleets in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) deliberately target dolphin schools because they know that yellowfin tuna swim beneath them. Since the late 1950's, the tuna fishery has killed more than 7 million dolphins. In 1990, consumer pressure brought about the "Dolphin Safe" tuna program, which has worked to protect dolphins. Reported dolphin deaths have declined by 97% since 1990.

Dolphin silhouettes

However, the governments and corrupt tuna millionaires of Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia have objected, and the US Commerce and State Departments are obliging them by gutting US dolphin protection laws, often in violation of US laws! Earth Island so far has blocked the weakening of the "Dolphin Safe" tuna label standards through the help of Congress and the courts.

But the US Commerce and State Departments are proposing to allow tuna caught by chasing and netting dolphins to be labeled "Dolphin Safe." Recent research from the Commerce Dept.'s own scientists demonstrates that dolphins chased and netted are not increasing in numbers in the ETP, and in fact may still be declining in numbers. One study indicates that the fishing practice of chasing and netting separates dolphin mothers from dependent calves.

This proposal by the Bush Administration to weaken the "Dolphin Safe" tuna label will harm dolphins, US consumers, and tuna companies around the world which are working to prevent the killing and injuring of dolphins by avoiding chasing and netting schools of dolphins to catch tuna. Dolphins should not be sacrificed on the altar of "Free Trade."

Dolphin couple

International Marine Mammal Project
300 Broadway, suite 28    San Francisco, CA  94133
415/788-3666
or fax 415/788-7324
marinemammal@earthisland.org

smiling dolphin

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