Subject: Tuna Nets/Dolphins:Environmental Groups Urge Cong (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 14:30:07 -0400 (EDT)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 97 11:53:00 GMT 
Subject: Environmental Groups Urge Cong

Environmental Groups Urge Congress to Save ...

   WASHINGTON, April 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Testifying before a
congressional subcommittee on behalf of a coalition of leading
environmental groups, a Center for Marine Conservation (CMC) marine
mammalogist today urged members of Congress to pass a bill (H.R. 408)
that would keep dolphins and other marine species from dying needlessly
in tuna nets and lock in progress already made under existing dolphin
protection laws.
   "The Center for Marine Conservation, Environmental Defense Fund,
Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation, and World Wildlife Fund
strongly support H.R. 408 because it will protect dolphins, tuna,
marine life and the ocean ecosystem," said CMC Marine Mammalogist Nina
Young before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans.
   If enacted, H.R. 408, known as the International Dolphin Conservation
Act, would implement the Panama Declaration, which is the basis for an
international, legally binding, enforceable fisheries agreement that
will protect dolphins, conserve the tuna fishery and reduce the
unintentional catch of other marine species. H.R. 408 would also
strengthen the existing International Dolphin Conservation Program,
which has resulted in a 99 percent reduction in tuna fishery-related
dolphin deaths over the last decade. The bill, introduced in January
1997 by Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.), is expected to move quickly
through the Resources Committee to the House floor.
   "Under current law," Young said, "consumers are misled to believe that
by purchasing 'dolphin-safe' tuna they have secured the protection of
dolphins, that dolphins no longer die in tuna nets, and that fishers no
longer chase and encircle dolphins with tuna nets. Sadly, this is not
true." Young added that "'dolphin safe' is not 'dolphin safe' if it is
not 'ecosystem safe'" because fishing methods currently identified as
"dolphin safe" result in the killing of thousands of other marine
creatures, including endangered sea turtles, sharks, billfish, juvenile
tuna and other fish. "With all things connected in the ecosystem," said
Young, "how can we call tuna that is caught in such a wasteful manner
'dolphin safe'?  The answer: We can't."