Earth Island Institute’s International Monitoring Program has released its 2013 Annual Report of the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program. The program which started in the early 90s, encompasses now more than 508 tuna companies, brokers, fishermen, and retail outlets in 70 countries. All Dolphin-Safe companies commit to tuna fishing practices which to not encircle dolphins and reduce bycatch of turtles, albatross and sharks. Dolphins mortality in the Eastern Tropical Pacific has consequently decreased by 98% since the launching of the program.
Tuna companies have to be Dolphin-Safe approved by the EII in order to apply for Friend of the Sea certification. 20 tuna fisheries and fleets have been approved Friend of the Sea and over 60 companies have products certified. 375 tuna vessels have been approved friend of the Sea worldwide.
For decades, the EII and Friend of the Sea have made companies aware of the issues related to unsustainable fishing practices and they have lead producers to reduce their environmental impact on marine mammals and the marine ecosystem in general.
“The Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin-Safe project” explains Paolo Bray (Director of Friend of the Sea and European Coordinator of Dolphin-Safe program), “has been the precursor project of the sustainable seafood movement. When the EII started the Monitoring Program, 30 years ago, ‘sustainability’ was an almost unknown word in the industry.”
“Verifying the dolphin-safe operations of tuna companies around the world” comments David C. Phillips, Executive Director of Earth Island Institute, “ has been instrumental for the protection of dolphins and other marine lives as well as providing consumers’ confidence in tuna products. The Earth Island Institute fully supports Friend of the Sea and invites Dolphin-Safe companies to join the program.”
Earth Island’s unique International Monitoring Program maintains twelve staff members in seven countries around the world, who regularly inspect tuna in canneries, at dockside, and abroad fishing vessels in order to insure consumers that the tuna they buy is truly “dolphin safe”. This is the largest private environmental monitoring program in the world. We maintain agreements with more than 300 tuna companies around the world, including all major tuna processors. These agreements pledge tuna companies to abide by Earth Island international “Dolphin Safe” tuna standards of no encirclement of dolphins or other marine mammals during an entire fishing trip, no accidental deaths or serious injuries of any dolphins, and no use of drift gill nets.
For information about the “Dolphin Safe” logo, contact:
Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 350 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainability of their seafood origins. Audits are run by accredited independent certification bodies. Audits are also run on site and they are based on the best and most updated available scientific data.
For information about Friend of the Sea, contact:
Executive Director – Mr. Paolo Bray
Phone: +39 348 565 0306