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Dolphin-Safe label gutted.



Earth Island Institute The Earth Island Institute was founded in 1982 by environmentalist David Brower. It organizes and encourages activism around environmental issues and provides public education. Funding comes from individual members and supporting organizations.  has strongly denounced the recent decision by Commerce Secretary William Daley to weaken the standards for the "Dolphin Safe" label on American tuna cans.

The "Dolphin Safe" label, before his decision, could not be used on any tuna caught by chasing and netting of dolphins by fishermen (e.g. "Dolphin Safe" meant no encirclement of dolphins). Tuna fishermen in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP ETP Eligible Termination Payment (Australian finance)
ETP Equivalent Temps Plein (French: Full Time Equivalent)
ETP European Technology Platform
ETP Employment Training Panel
)target dolphins because tuna and dolphins form mixed schools. Over the past four decades, the international tuna fishery has killed more than seven million dolphins. Since 1990 and the advent of the "Dolphin Safe" tuna program, sparked by a vigorous grassroots and legal campaign waged by Earth Island Institute, annual reported dolphin deaths have decreased by 97 percent in the ETP.

However, tuna fishermen in Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela teamed up in 1997 with free-trade advocates in the Clinton Administration Noun 1. Clinton administration - the executive under President Clinton
executive - persons who administer the law
, including Vice President Al Gore Noun 1. Al Gore - Vice President of the United States under Bill Clinton (born in 1948)
Albert Gore Jr., Gore
, and Congress to pass changes in the dolphin-safe legislation to undercut US dolphin protection laws and open US markets to dolphin-deadly tuna.

On April 29th, just one week after Earth Day 1999, Daley made a finding, contrary to all available scientific information, that chasing and netting dolphins does not cause significant adverse impacts. This action automatically weakened the standards by which tuna is judged to be "Dolphin Safe" to now allow chasing, harassing, netting, injuring, and even killing of dolphins when catching tuna, so long as an on-board observer reports no dolphins killed outright or "seriously injured."

"Scientists, US tuna companies, and the public know that chasing and netting dolphins is not safe for dolphins," stated David Phillips David Phillips can refer to:
  • David Phillips (footballer)
  • David Phillips (entrepreneur)
  • David Graham Phillips - writer
  • David Atlee Phillips - CIA agent
  • David Chilton Phillips - biologist
  • David Phillips (cinematographer) - cinematographer
, Director of Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal A marine mammal is a mammal that is primarily ocean-dwelling or depends on the ocean for its food. Mammals originally evolved on land, but later marine mammals evolved to live back in the ocean.  Project. "The Commerce Secretary's decision is consumer fraud and a death warrant for thousands of dolphins."

Scientists have determined that dolphin populations in the ETP are not recovering, even with the dramatically lower reported kills of recent years. Harassment of dolphins by tuna fishermen and problems arising from the consequent stress are likely factors affecting dolphin reproduction.

The three major US tuna companies -- StarKist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea -- which together make up 90 percent of the US tuna market, have told Commerce Secretary Daley that "... they intend to retain their non-encirclement (of dolphins) policy regardless of the findings that you make ..."

"US consumers have made it abundantly clear -- they do not want to buy tuna caught by killing and injuring thousands of dolphins," announced Patricia Forkan, Executive Vice President of the Humane Society of the United States The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a Washington, D.C-based animal welfare advocacy group. It is the largest animal welfare organization in the world, with nearly 10 million members and a 2006 budget of US$103 million. . "The decision by the Secretary is an outrageous attack on environmental protection laws in order to allow Mexico and other dolphin-killing nations access to the lucrative US tuna market. Once again, trade trumps science."

"How can the Secretary ignore his own scientists?" asked Nancy Blaney, Director, Federal Government Affairs, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (A.S.P.C.A.), chartered in 1866 in New York by Henry Bergh to shelter homeless animals, to assist farmers in caring for their livestock, and to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the prosecution of . "This blatant political decision to weaken the `Dolphin Safe' label cannot be allowed to stand. Thousands of dolphins' lives are at stake."

"The decision by the Secretary clearly violates the letter and intent of the Marine Mammal Protection Act The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 prohibits, with certain exceptions, the taking of marine mammals in United States waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S.  to protect dolphins," emphasized William Snape William Snape is an actor, perhaps most notable for playing Gaz's son Nathan in the British comedy The Full Monty.

Snape was born in Sheffield on 17 April 1985. He attended Dobcroft Junior School followed by Silverdale School.
, Legal Director of Defenders of Wildlife Defenders of Wildlife is non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1947 out of concern for perceived cruelties of the use of steel-jawed leghold traps for trapping fur-bearing animals. . "Secretary Daley's decision was supposed to be based on science, not trade politics."

"Aggressive lobbying by the Mexican tuna industry and its allies has had powerful undue influence on the US political process," stated Christine Stevens, Secretary of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation The Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), the legislative arm of the Animal Welfare Institute. SAPL has worked for the successful adoption of over 15 federal laws, including the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Humane Slaughter Act and the Marine . "The involvement of sinister drug forces cannot be denied. In one case, the US Coast Guard found twelve tons of cocaine with a estimated street value of $1 billion hidden in the specially altered holds of a tuna boat."

The Earth Island Institute and the Dolphin Safe/Fair Trade Campaign, having secured the pledge of the three largest tuna companies in the world to buy and sell only truly "Dolphin Safe" tuna (i.e. tuna caught without encircling encircling (en·serˑ·k  dolphins with the deadly nets), pledged to continue to line up support from other retail and wholesale outlets for tuna, including restaurants, supermarket chains, and other institutions. Furthermore, Earth Island and four other groups are preparing a federal lawsuit charging that the Secretary's decision was arbitrary and capricious.

What you can do: Letters of thanks are needed to the three US tuna companies. Thank them for maintaining their pledge to buy only truly "Dolphin Safe" tuna (e.g. tuna caught without chasing and netting any dolphins). Urge them to include words on their tuna labels that distinguish their tuna from falsely labeled "Dolphin Safe" tuna! Mr. Dennis Mussell, President; (Chicken of the Sea International); Van Camp Seafood Co., Inc., 4510 Executive Drive, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92121; (619) 597-4282 (fax). Mr. Peter Bowen, President and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. ; StarKist Tuna; StarKist Foods, Inc.; One Riverfront Place, Newport, Kentucky 41071; (606) 655-5888 (fax). Mr. Mark Koob, President; Bumble Bee Seafoods, Inc.; 3990 Rufin Road, San Diego, CA 92123; (619) 715-4355 (fax). Watch for further information from Earth Island Institute on dolphin-deadly tuna to boycott!
COPYRIGHT 1999 Earth Island Institute
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Article Details
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Author:Palmer, Mark J.
Publication:Earth Island Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 1999
Words:831
Previous Article:Asia's marine mammals.
Next Article:IMMP Goes to Japan.
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