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Save the dolphins. (Updates).

The discovery 50 years ago that yellowfin tuna school below pods of dolphins was a boon for the tuna industry--and a bane for those playful, personable mammals. When word got out that the nets used to catch tuna also trapped and drowned hundreds of thousands of dolphins each year, the Earth Island Institute led a successful boycott that culminated with the U.S. Commerce Department's "dolphin-safe" label (see "On the Blue Frontier," cover story, July/August 2001).

Now concerns about free-trade violations could open U.S. markets to Mexican-caught tuna. And late last year, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced that tuna caught when dolphins are chased down can be labeled "dolphin-safe" as long as no dolphins are injured--even though the agency found in an earlier report that this method indirectly kills dolphins through stress. Environmental groups sued the Commerce Department in January, putting the new regulations on hold. CONTACT: NMFS, www.nmfs.noaa.gov.
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Author:Hall, Pheobe
Publication:E
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:156
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