Tuna fishermen in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean know that schools of yellowfin tuna swim beneath dolphin pods. Since 1950, while targeting dolphins in pursuit of tuna, these fishermen have inadvertently caught and killed over six million of these mammals. Such mortality prompted congress to create the "dolphin-safe tuna" label in 1990 that prohibits the intentional netting of dolphins. Since then, annual dolphin mortality has decreased from more than 100,000 to about 3,000. For years, Mexico has used the encirclement method of tuna fishing and has been denied our dolphin-safe label for intentionally catching dolphins in their nets. Opponents claim this method of chasing down dolphins has resulted in much higher dolphin mortality rates than reported – from injuries, separation of calves from mothers, and physiological stress that damages heart muscles. Some depleted dolphin stocks have not recovered. Currently, at least three dolphin populations remain at risk from inadvertent fishing: the northeastern offshore and the coastal spotted dolphins and the eastern spinner dolphin.

Pending Legislation:
H.R.774 - Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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