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What Does A Trump Presidency Mean For Dolphins And Whales?

| The Staff of IMMP
Topics: Cetacean Habitat, Dolphin and Whale Trade, International Whaling Commission, Tuna Industry

Many people are rightly deeply distressed by the prospect of a Trump presidency. Whether you voted for Trump or not, his general approach to environmental issues is not looking good. He considers global warming, for example, as a “hoax”, and favors government efforts to increase coal and oil development in the U.S. He does not appear to give the same support to clean energy options. He has also expressed hostility to government regulations, many of which are important to protect human health and the environment.

But here at the International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) of Earth Island Institute, we are facing challenges, yes, but feel, with your help, we are well equipped to meet them.

At IMMP, our biggest strength is our ability to use different tactics to address different challenges. And often, our flexibility and experience as well as our tenacity have helped make a tremendous difference for dolphins and whales.

We have seen anti-environmental Presidents come and go, and it is too early to tell how President-elect Trump will do on the issues we care about. Some are hopeful that Trump will grow in the presidency and will come to understand a lot of things about both governance and the complex issues that he seemed to spurn during his heated campaign. As always, our ability to influence those decisions will require martialling the public’s voice in support of dolphins and whales.

The President chooses the Secretary of Commerce, who in turn helps implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act through the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Commerce Department also oversees the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission, along with the State Department.

Will the Trump Administration uphold the U.S. position at the World Trade Organization against Mexico’s challenge to the Dolphin Safe label? Given Trump’s general antipathy to trade agreements, we believe he may do so. One good step has already occurred – the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal that would have undermined U.S. environmental, labor, and health laws, is reportedly dead. IMMP had urged the Obama Administration to use the TPP negotiations to put pressure on Mexico to drop their challenge to the U.S. Dolphin Safe label, to no avail. 

Whatever steps the next President and Congress takes, they will still need the support of the American public to move forward. This means your voice is more important than ever. Keep up on the issues by reading our blogs at and we will keep you informed on how to help support our work to protect dolphins and whales.