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NOAA Says "No" to "Dolphin-Safe"

July 11, 2013

NOAA Says "No" to "Dolphin-Safe"
Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna Calls on Congress to Act Where the Administration Has Failed

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2013 — This week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued regulations it claims will protect dolphins and provide consumers with greater assurance that no dolphins were harmed or killed during the harvest of tuna. In what has become an all too familiar pattern, NOAA has missed yet another opportunity to put in place a truly dolphin-safe regime that complies with the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP).

To make matters worse, the NOAA regulations also perpetuate the failings of the current “dolphin-safe” labeling regime. For the past 20 years the big three – Bumble Bee, StarKist and Chicken of the Sea – have used so-called “dolphin-safe” labels that deliberately mislead consumers into believing that no dolphins were harmed during the capture of the tuna, when in fact tens of thousands of dolphins are killed each year in the capture of that tuna. As a result, dolphin-deadly tuna will continue to be mislabeled as “dolphin-safe” in the United States and consumers will continue to be misled by the producers and by Earth Island Institute, all of which will be reinforced by the failure of the U.S. government to enforce truth-in-labeling requirements.

Despite repeated warnings by environmental groups that current U.S. fishing practices are not only dolphin-deadly but also disastrous for countless other species in the marine ecosystem, the regulations do nothing to rectify the problem. In fact, they are forcing the fisheries around the world to fish in a highly unsustainable manner. Instead of showing real leadership, NOAA is yet again deliberately ducking the real issue at the expense of the environment.

With NOAA failing yet again to take real and meaningful action, it is now even more important for Congress to address this problem directly through legislation and bring the dolphin-safe labeling rules in line with what consumers expect and demand from a dolphin-safe label.

About the Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna

The Campaign for Eco-Safe Tuna is an international effort committed to a more sustainable approach to tuna fishing. We advocate for new labeling rules in the United States and around the world to promote an eco-friendly approach to tuna fishing and ensure that consumers are no longer misled about false claims by current “dolphin-safe” labels.

For more information, visit www.ecosafetuna.org. Follow the campaign on Twitter at @ecosafetuna.

Tuna Truth Squad