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Animal Attraction: U.S. Dolphin-Safe Tuna Label Protections Prevail

Animal Attraction:  U.S. Dolphin-Safe Tuna Label Protections Prevail

Credit: Creator - NASA; Publisher - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

by Stacy Fox

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 6:27 AM

The Humane Society of the United States and its international partner Humane Society International praise the Obama administration for its final rule to comply with a 2012 World Trade Organization ruling by strengthening – rather than weakening – the U.S. Dolphin-Safe tuna label.

The administration is notifying the WTO that it intends to comply by expanding the scope of the certification requirements so that they apply to all oceans and not just the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. Over the past several decades, millions of dolphins have died in the eastern tropical Pacific tuna fishery because of the practice of intentionally chasing, harassing and netting dolphins to catch the tuna swimming beneath.

“The integrity of the dolphin-safe label stands,” said Kitty Block, vice president, Humane Society International. “The Obama administration’s decision to expand the scope of dolphin-safe standards to all oceans with tuna fisheries and to all countries seeking to import tuna is a huge victory for consumers in the U.S., and dolphins everywhere.”

In the early 1990s consumers demanded and Congress enacted dolphin safe standards to protect these animals from drowning in fishing nets. Since the late 1990s this label has been under attack by countries wanting to import their tuna with the well-known and trusted dolphin-safe label but without safeguarding the welfare of dolphins – most recently at the WTO in 2011.

The new regulation was promulgated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  in conjunction with the United States Trade Representative.

Humane Society International

Creator - NASA; Publisher - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
Rights - Public Domain