16 U.S.C. § 1411 - Findings and policy

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 1411
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)

(a) Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1) The yellowfin tuna fishery of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean has resulted in the deaths of millions of dolphins.

(2) Significant awareness and increased concern for the health and safety of dolphin populations has encouraged a change in fishing methods worldwide.

(3) United States tuna fishing vessels have led the world in the development of fishing methods to reduce dolphin mortalities in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and United States tuna processing companies have voluntarily promoted the marketing of tuna that is dolphin safe.

(4) Nations harvesting yellowfin tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean have demonstrated their willingness to participate in appropriate multilateral agreements to reduce dolphin mortality progressively to a level approaching zero through the setting of annual limits, with the goal of eliminating dolphin mortality in that fishery. Recognition of the International Dolphin Conservation Program will assure that the existing trend of reduced dolphin mortality continues; that individual stocks of dolphins are adequately protected; and that the goal of eliminating all dolphin mortality continues to be a priority.

(b) Policy

It is the policy of the United States to-

(1) eliminate the marine mammal mortality resulting from the intentional encirclement of dolphins and other marine mammals in tuna purse seine fisheries;

(2) support the International Dolphin Conservation Program and efforts within the Program to reduce, with the goal of eliminating, the mortality referred to in paragraph (1);

(3) ensure that the market of the United States does not act as an incentive to the harvest of tuna caught with driftnets or caught by purse seine vessels in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean not operating in compliance with the International Dolphin Conservation Program;

(4) secure appropriate multilateral agreements to ensure that United States tuna fishing vessels shall have continued access to productive tuna fishing grounds in the South Pacific Ocean and elsewhere; and

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