Subject: Dolphins:Clinton Statement on Dolphin C (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 25 Aug 1997 10:47:41 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 97 13:25:00 GMT 
Subject: Clinton Statement on Dolphin C

Clinton Statement on Dolphin Conservation Act

   WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following statement from
President Clinton was released Aug. 15 by the White House:
   I am pleased today to sign into law H.R. 408, the "International
Dolphin Conservation Program Act".  This Act is the product of a
bipartisan effort by the Congress, my Administration, and a number of
major environmental groups and U.S. fishermen.  The Act will ensure
that one of the best international programs to conserve marine
resources will be strengthened and continued.
   The protection of dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, where
these marine mammals swim together with schools of yellowfin tuna, has
long been a high priority for the United States. Strengthening the
International Dolphin Conservation Program through this legislation is
a major victory for strong international efforts to protect dolphins
caught during tuna fishing in this region.
   TheAct recognizes that ongoing international efforts have been a
tremendous success -- dolphin mortalities have been reduced by more
than 98 percent from previous levels.  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.
   One of the major provisions of this Act is the change in the definition
of the standard for the "dolphin-safe" label affixed to canned tuna
sold in the United States.  The definition of dolphin-safe will be
changed to mean that no dolphins were killed or seriously injured
during harvesting of the tuna.  The label change will take effect in
March 1999 unless the Secretary of Commerce determines that tuna
fishing by encircling dolphins has a significant adverse impact on
dolphin stocks.  United States policy on this question has been and
will continue to be based on the best available scientific information.
Unfortunately, H.R. 408 also contains provisions that could be
construed to direct how the Nation's foreign affairs should be
conducted.  The Constitution vests the President with special authority
to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs, and this authority necessarily
entails the exercise of discretion.  Thus, section 4(e), that portion
of section 6(c) that amends section 302 of the Marine Mammal Protection
Act, and section 7(c) will be construed to be advisory within the
executive branch.
   In approving H.R. 408, I would like to recognize Congressmen Gilchrest,
Cunningham, Saxton, Cardin, and Green and Senators Breaux, Stevens,
McCain, Kerry, Snowe, and Hollings for their efforts in the passage of
this legislation.
   The strictly enforced dolphin protection regime that this Act endorses
is a model of effective international cooperation on an important
environmental matter, and I am pleased to sign it.
   August 15, 1997.