For decades, dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean were intentionally chased and netted by tuna fishermen to catch the tuna that swim beneath dolphin schools. More than seven million dolphins were killed by the purse-seine tuna fleets, the largest killing of marine mammals in history.
In 1988, we provided the world with the first video footage of dolphins dying in tuna nets. In 1990, we established the Dolphin Safe tuna program, setting the worldwide standards to stop the setting of nets on dolphins. More than 90 percent of the world’s tuna companies are now committed to Dolphin Safe fishing practices, and the Dolphin Safe label is now on canned tuna in markets throughout the world. We maintain the International Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, with monitors around the world covering more than 500 companies, to ensure that tuna is caught without chasing or netting of dolphins. Dolphin deaths in tuna nets have declined by 99 percent.
Mexican, Venezuelan, and Colombian tuna fleets continue to chase, net, and drown thousands of dolphins annually. Mexico is fighting to overturn the Dolphin Safe tuna label, going to the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Congress to change U.S. laws so they can falsely label their tuna—stained by the blood of dolphins—as Dolphin Safe. Earth Island Institute is fighting to prevent that from happening. Earth Island Istitute is also active in stopping bycatch of non-target species in tuna nets and in stopping fishermen from killing dolphins for shark bait.
Ola Wietecha, Undercurrents, April 2016
We are preparing to ramp up efforts to limit the sale of Mexican purse seine-caught tuna in the US and Europe if the fishery is granted Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.
"This MSC certification is going to crucify the other Dolphin Safe brands because there's going to be consumer confusion. You're going to see an MSC, Dolphin Safe Albacore right next to an MSC, non Dolphin-Safe Mexican yellowfin," says David Phillips, director of the International Marine Mammal Project.
Mark Berman, Int'l Marine Mammal Project
Investigations have revealed that Walmart is selling dolphin-deadly tuna in stores and online in Mexico, Costa Rica, and other Latin American countries.
In a June, 2000 commitment Walmart indicated it would only sell tuna caught without causing the injury and death of dolphins. It has done so in the US, but not in other places.
Help us convince Walmart to stop selling tuna that kills and injures thousands of dolphins every year.
Check here for the latest approved Dolphin Safe companies, updated monthly.Check List Here
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Dolphin Safe label, which was established by Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project on Earth Day 1990.Read more
Check here for the latest approved Dolphin Safe importers, brokers, and retailers.Check List Here