From: Center for Biological Diversity
Published August 11, 2016 01:46 PM

U.S. to World: Protect Dolphins, Whales or Lose Access to U.S. Seafood Market

The National Marine Fisheries Service issued regulations today prohibiting seafood imports from nations whose fisheries kill more whales and dolphins than U.S. standards allow. Each year around 650,000 whales, dolphins and other marine mammals are unintentionally caught and killed in fishing gear worldwide. Under the new rule, foreign fishermen must meet the same marine mammal protection standards applied to U.S. fishermen or their fish will be banned from the lucrative American seafood market. The rule is the result of a settlement in a lawsuit brought by conservation groups two years ago.

“The new regulations will force countries to meet U.S. conservation standards if they want access to the U.S. market, saving thousands of whales and dolphins from dying on hooks and in fishing nets around the world,” said Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The U.S. government has finally recognized that all seafood consumed in the United States must be ‘dolphin-safe.’”

The new rules will be put in place gradually with full implementation by 2022. Exporting nations will now need to track and monitor fisheries and whale, dolphin and other marine mammal populations, modify fishing gear, and may even have to close fishing in some areas to limit entanglement risk.

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Image via National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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