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Jumping Into Action: A Newly Proposed Rule For Dolphin-Safe Requirements On Custom Stickers

Agency Expands Certification Requirements for Custom Stickers

Dolphin-safe tuna standards for custom stickers have been in place for years, but a proposed change might broaden the certification requirements. The new rule is over the trade disadvantage of Mexican tuna fishermen because of United States labeling requirements.

The National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently recommended a rule change regarding the dolphin-free tuna certification requirements to include some tuna caught using fishing techniques involving dolphins in the Pacific Ocean. The current requirement is that no tuna product can be labeled dolphin-free if dolphins had been caught in nets, despite methods allowing dolphins to escape fishing gear. However, the proposed alteration will require everyone on board fishing boats to certify no dolphins were killed or seriously injured to have a dolphin-safe label. 

Revised Print Food Labels Would Still Show Dolphin-Safe Tuna
The revised change will still have print food labels confirming no dolphins were harmed, but it allows tuna fishermen all over the world a fair shot at becoming dolphin-safe certified. It also states that dolphin-safe tuna must be kept separate from tuna caught through other methods, but NOAA continues to keep food product labels in accordance with the 1990 Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act.