Friend of the Sea objects MSC certification of the Mexican tuna fishery setting nets on dolphins
Friend of the Sea has filed an official comment to the Draft SCS Assessment for the MSC certification of Northeastern Tropical Purse Seine Yellowfin Tuna fishery. The fishery’s vessels chase, net and kill dolphins in order to catch the tuna which is sometimes found underneath. This fishing method has killed over 7 million dolphins and decimated the local populations.
The best available science has already demonstrated that dolphins in the ETP are seriously impacted by continued fishing on dolphins: the US National Marine Fisheries Service has studied the impacts, including population surveys, aerial photography of dolphin pods showing a lack of calves, and well-established stress studies on dolphins. SCS provides no refutation or counter-balancing evidence that the fishery does not harm dolphins.
According to Friend of the Sea, the steps proposed by SCS are inadequate as none of them provide any relief for dolphin populations: the fishery will continue to chase, encircle, net, drown and injure dolphins as before, for the entire four years these steps take. The steps assume offering of evidence, but provide no guidance as to what constitutes evidence or how much of it is needed to deny impacts of the fishery on dolphins.
Friend of the Sea has also highlighted the incongruence of the Draft Assessment when it claims SCS cannot take a position to impose Dolphin Safe standards on the fishery, but elsewhere takes a position opposing shark finning.”
“Consumers should not be misled to believe that tuna caught by chasing, netting, and drowning dolphins is sustainable,” concludes Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of Friend of the Sea. “A certification scheme should not promote dangerous and environmentally degrading fishing practices.”
Friend of the Sea is the only sustainable seafood certification program which includes as mandatory requirement for tuna companies to be approved according to the Earth Island Institute Dolphin-Safe International Monitoring Program.
Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 500 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainability of their seafood origins. Audits, based on best and most updated available scientific data, are run by accredited independent certification bodies.