Subject: Dolphins:Clinton Signs Bill to Lift U.S (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 25 Aug 1997 10:47:19 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Sun, 24 Aug 97 13:24:00 GMT 
Subject: Clinton Signs Bill to Lift U.S

Clinton Signs Bill to Lift U.S. Tuna Embargo

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - President Clinton has signed a bill to
lift the U.S. embargo on tuna caught in nets that also may
entrap dolphins.
     The law, which the White House pressed for Mexico's sake,
will end the embargo once a binding international agreement is
in effect among Mexico, Venezuela and other nations to use
measures that protect dolphins in the fishing process.
     The United States imposed the embargo in 1994 after a public
outcry over the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of dolphins
snared in nets used to catch tuna in the eastern tropical
Pacific Ocean, where tuna swim below dolphins.
     Tuna fishermen herded dolphins and set nets on top of them,
slashing and drowning them, to catch the tuna.
     To get back into the U.S. market, about a dozen countries
voluntarily adopted measures to free dolphins from tuna nets and
minimize dolphin deaths.
     "The Act recognizes that ongoing international efforts have
been a tremendous success -- dolphin mortalities have been
reduced by more than 98 percent from previous levels," Clinton
said in a statement Friday.
     "Foreign nations, whose fishing fleets have contributed to
this success, will no longer face U.S. embargoes on their tuna
products if they continue to participate effectively in this
international program," he said.
     Currently, no tuna caught using the encircling nets may be
labeled "dolphin-safe."
     A study will be conducted to determine the impact of the new
measures on dolphin populations, to be completed in March 1999.
If the study finds that the populations are not dwindling, the
standard for the "dolphin-safe" label may then be changed to
mean that no dolphins were killed or seriously harmed in the
harvesting of tuna.