Tell Mexico to Adopt Dolphin-Safe Fishing Methods

Target: Mexican President Felipe Calderón

Goal: Adopt dolphin-safe fishing methods in Mexico, rather than force the U.S. to weaken its dolphin-safe label.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) recently ruled that the U.S. “dolphin-safe” label discriminates against Mexican tuna fleets, as they rely on fishing methods that can injure or kill dolphins and other marine mammals. The ruling means that Congress may have to amend the dolphin-safe label to include controversial chasing-and-netting techniques, putting dolphins and consumers at risk. We cannot allow Mexico to effectively weaken the dolphin-safe label just because it won’t adopt responsible fishing practices.

According to David Phillips, Director of the Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project, “The WTO decision … is an outrageous attack that would ensure thousands of dolphins horrible deaths in tuna nets while lying to consumers about the Dolphin Safe status of such tuna.”

Mexico already sells tuna to the U.S., but is not permitted to do so under the Department of Commerce’s dolphin-safe label. The Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, a region extending from Southern California to Peru, is the only place in the world where dolphins swim above or with tuna, making it more difficult to catch tuna without harming other marine mammals. However, all other countries in this region, with the exception of Colombia and Venezuela, comply with the U.S. dolphin-safe standards. Mexico should join its neighbors and adopt responsible fishing methods instead of attacking the U.S. for its efforts to source dolphin-safe tuna.

Mexico’s attempts to weaken the dolphin-safe label represent careless disregard of the environment in favor of maximizing profits. The dolphin-safe label is voluntary, thus it should not be deemed a trade barrier. Urge Mexico to adopt dolphin-safe fishing methods immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Calderón,

The World Trade Organization recently ruled in your favor, concluding that the U.S. dolphin-safe label discriminates against your country. This outrageous ruling may force the U.S. to weaken its dolphin-safe label, risking the lives of thousands of dolphins. I ask that you make the responsible choice to alter your fishing methods, rather than compromise U.S. standards.

With the exception of Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela, all countries in the Eastern Pacific Tropical Zone comply with the dolphin-safe standards. The dolphin-safe label is voluntary, thus it is absurd that it should be deemed a trade barrier.

Your attempts to weaken the dolphin-safe label represent careless disregard for the environment in favor of maximizing profits. Please adopt responsible fishing methods and leave the dolphin-safe label alone.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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2 Comments

  1. I’ve lived in Mexico for months at a time and for the most part, it is still a third world country where most people are so poor that eating anything is more important than the fact that this good green earth does not have an unlimited supply of resources!!

    • Kristin Harkness Kristin Harkness says:

      Debi,

      This is not an issue about Mexico feeding its own people, but rather exporting tuna to the U.S. If the rest of the countries in the region can fish responsibly, many of which are poorer than Mexico, then Mexico can do it too.

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