Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dolphin-safe labels vs. tighter regulations

After a decade in court, the law for preserving the “Dolphin-Safe” tuna label on cans has been upheld by virtue of a passing appeal deadline.

The “Dolphin Safe” label on tuna cans was originally established and implemented to give consumers a choice of tuna that was caught without netting dolphins in the eastern Pacific.
Standards for this fishing practice were blurred during the Clinton administration as a part of their promotion for “free trade.”

The administration proposed regulations that would have held Mexico to lesser standards. Scientific evidence from conservation groups showed that the ships catching tuna that would have been labeled “dolphin safe” were killing dolphins with destructive netting techniques.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco sided with science over politics however, and got behind that evidence. The government decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court and the case stood as law and set the precedent that free trade could not come at the expense of wildlife so it was never invoked.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"