Ensuring the Integrity of Sustainable Seafood Labels

photo credit National Marine Fisheries Service


For decades, dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean were intentionally chased and netted by tuna fishermen to catch the tuna that swim beneath dolphin schools. Mexican, Venezuelan, and Colombian tuna fleets continue to chase, net, and drown thousands of dolphins annually. Mexico is fighting to overturn the Dolphin Safe tuna label, going to the World Trade Organization and the U.S. Congress to change U.S. laws so they can falsely label their tuna—stained by the blood of dolphins—as Dolphin Safe. And, to the surprise of many, the Marine Stewardship Council falsely certified Mexican dolphin-deadly fisheries as “sustainable". Earth Island Institute is working to address each of these issues, as well as bycatch of non-target species in tuna nets and in stopping fishermen from killing dolphins for shark bait. 

This lawsuit will challenge Marine Stewardship Council for violations of the Lanham Act and potentially the Dolphin Protection and Information Act for the granting of a misleading and scientifically unsupportable ecolabel to the Mexican tuna industry for use on labels to be used in the US market. IMMP seeks to revoke the MSC certification of the Mexican tuna fishing industry's fishery and prohibit any such product from being sold in the US with a "sustainability" logo.

Significant Updates

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International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP)


Michael Cohen & Sheppard Mullin

Focus Area

Wildlife Protection