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FIRST THREE ITALIAN TUNA COMPANIES BECOME DOLPHIN SAFE; ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY OPENS ITALIAN CAMPAIGN

      FIRST THREE ITALIAN TUNA COMPANIES BECOME DOLPHIN SAFE;
           ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY OPENS ITALIAN CAMPAIGN
    MILAN, Italy, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan of Bellerive Foundation, and representatives of more than a half dozen environmental organizations will convene a press conference Thursday, May 7, to denounce Italy as the largest remaining market in the world for dolphin-unsafe tuna.  The press conference will formally open the campaign undertaken by Bellerive Foundation, Humane Society International and Earth Island Institute to end Italy's huge purchases of dolphin-deadly tuna.  The tuna is caught by vessels from Mexico, Venezuela and other nations operating in the Eastern Tropical Pacific who intentionally capture and kill dolphins in giant circular nets used to harvest yellowfin tuna schooling beneath herds of dolphin.
    All three organizations have called for an immediate end to Italy's commerce in dolphin-deadly tuna products, and have targeted Italian tuna companies as responsible for financing the world's largest dolphin kill.  Of all the principal markets for canned tuna, only Italy and Spain continue to use supplies of dolphin-unsafe products for canning.  Environmentalists believe that if Italy and Spain become dolphin safe that Mexico and Venezuela will be forced to abandon fishing on dolphins, a practice that has killed over 7 million dolphins in the last 30 years.  The United States, France, United Kingdom, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia have already ended involvement in the problem leading to a dramatic reduction in dolphin mortality and a devaluation of the price paid for dolphin unsafe tuna.  Canners in Italy and Spain have responded by increasing imports from the Eastern Tropical Pacific and flooding the European market with dolphin unsafe canned tuna.
    Nostromo, Burgassi and Hector, three Italian tuna companies, have already adopted and implemented dolphin safe policies.  These policies, similar to those adopted by H.J. Heinz and other international tuna companies, prohibit any purchase or processing of tuna caught in ways that harm dolphins, and further allow access to documentation for verification on the part of the International Monitoring Program.  Several prominent environmental groups in Italy -- Europe Conservation, LIPU and Mare Vivo -- have also joined the campaign calling for an end to the dolphin kills and in urging adoptions of dolphin safe policies by other Italian tuna companies.
    The conference will be held in Milan at 11 a.m., May 7, at Residenza S. Damiano, Via S. Damiano 7.  Prince Sadruddin will be joined by biologist consultant Samuel LaBudde of Humane Society International and Earth Island Institute, whose undercover documentary exposed the dolphin massacre.  Also present will be Italian environmental representatives, as well as spokespersons for the Italian tuna companies that have gone dolphin safe.
    -0-                       5/6/92
    /CONTACT:  Laura K. Chapin of Humane Society International, 202-452-1100/ CO:  Humane Society International ST: IN: SU:


TW -- DC036 -- 7229 05/06/92 15:42 EDT EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 6, 1992
Words:467
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