Friend of the Sea has received requests for certification from two major Latin America tuna shipowners whose vessels set nets on dolphins to catch tuna. Audit was not authorized because one of the requirements for Friend of the Sea certification is that the tuna company be also certified Dolphin-Safe by the Earth Island Institute.
“Setting nets on Dolphins is a practice which implies use of explosives or paint bombs and speedboats to harass and encircle dolphins,” explains Dr Paolo Bray. “Dolphin mortality is unfortunately still allowed by some nations as part of tuna fishing activity in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. This fishing method has lead to a decimation of dolphins populations. No dolphin-killing fleet will ever be certified Friend of the Sea sustainable.”
“While Friend of the Sea has denied certification to these fisheries, other programs seem to consider this practice potentially sustainable and worth evaluation,” concludes Dr Bray “Certification of such a dolphin targeting fishery as sustainable would be misleading for consumers. The certifying eco-label will be associated to a cruel and wasteful fishing practice which has killed millions of dolphins over the years.”
Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea is an international certification program for products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Over 400 companies in more than 50 countries have relied on Friend of the Sea to assess the sustainability of their seafood products. Audits, based on best and most updated available scientific data, are run by accredited independent certification bodies.