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Save the Dolphin scam exposed by Coos County Commissioner John Griffith
posted to KBC 8/1/04

This was sent to me by the people who are tying to introduce wolves to Oregon.

I think it helps illuminate their values. I spent a lot of time investigating "dolphin-safe tuna" in the late 1990s, including a trip to San Diego to interview a retired tuna boat owner who invented fishing gear modifications in the 1970s to make the USA tuna seiner fleet in the Eastern Tropical Pacific almost entirely dolphin safe.
What the below ad shows is, among other things, that its creator is dishonestly political and shamless about bumming money.
1. The Bush Administration is following several attempts by the Clinton Administration to correct a law that hammers the environment worse in the name of dolphin safety.
2. The "dolphin-safe" law was found, at least twice, to be illegal by the GATT, and now the WTO court.
3. Almost no dolphins have been killed in the tuna seining fleet in the Eastern Tropical Pacific in years.
4. Alternative methods of fishing for yellowfin tuna create monstrous wasteage of bycatch including endangered sea turtles, sharks, unwanted fish and a huge discarded bycatch of undersize tuna.
5. The environmental horrors of these alternative forms of fishing are so offensive that World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace actually joined the effort to change "dolphin-safe tuna" back in the 1990s (Clinton Administration). The radical Earth Island Institute, which was making millions off the "dolphin-safe" scam with a "flipper seal of approval" marketing scam fought back to keep it, and has sued National Marine Fisheries Service as it's tried to fix the law. Earth Island Institute was also a major player in the "Free Willy, Keiko" the killer whale scam.
What EII and now it seems Defenders say they're concerned about is delayed mortality of dolphins that are encircled by purse seines. This is a sick joke. Tuna fishermen have effective ways to clear dolphins from the nets before the boats start bringing the fish aboard.
There was a time, in the 1960s and early 1970s when dolphin mortality was ugly. That led Harold Medina, of San Diego, to invent gear modifications and techniques to release the air-breathers. He explained to me in an interview in his house in 1999 that, besides liking to see dolphins and other sea creatures, tunamen needed the dolphins to show them where the tuna were. So they had a direct financial reason to want to protect the dolphins in their fishery.
Foreign flag vessels did not care for dolphin conservation as much as the US boats did, and some of their practices stayed pretty ugly after the US boats had switched over.
Then a freelance activist with a video camera hitched a ride on a Central American fishing boat, got footage of an incompetent crew with obsolete gear fishing dirty and killing dolphins, sold or gave the footage to Earth Island, and the first green marketing scam was born.
Congress passed a law in the early 1990s that tuna from nations that fish over dolphins cannot be imported to the US, unless the product was certified to have come from sources that didn't fish over dolphins. Earth Island developed a "seal of approval" that the product had not come from fishing over dolphins. It was no additional safety from what the feds were requiring, just a private licensing scheme that came at a hefty price.
This ad says a lot more, such as Defenders trying to soak the unwary out of $25 a pop to maintain a law that harms the environment, but we all get the point
john griffith

Save The Dolphins!

Take Action Today! Click Here to Save 

Dolphins!Dear Defender,

Do you remember the television series Flipper?

Whether you remember this series which starred a dolphin or not, we all know that dolphins are magnificent creatures that are graceful, playful and intelligent. I need you to sign our petition to save them.

For unknown reasons, schools of tuna swim below dolphins. This led fisherman to set their mile-long nets on dolphins -- to catch tuna. As a result, millions of dolphins were killed.

The U.S. Congress created a labeling program to help consumers protect dolphins. Millions of dolphins have been saved all because tuna caught by dolphin-safe methods has carried a label assuring consumers that the canned tuna was caught by a dolphin-safe method.

The Bush administration is trying to destroy the definition of dolphin-safe on tuna cans. They would propose to allow the dolphin-safe label to be used on tuna caught using the harmful practice of chasing and setting nets on dolphins. This policy could devastate dolphin populations.

Please take these action steps today:

1. Sign our petition to safeguard the "dolphin-safe" label.

2. Adopt a dolphin today by making a tax-deductible contribution to Defenders of Wildlife. For a gift of $25 or more, we'll send you a plush dolphin toy as our thanks for your help to underwrite our programs to save dolphins.

Thanks for caring,

Rodger Schlickeisen

P.S. We need to mount an aggressive campaign to save the dolphins. Help us spread the word, by forwarding my e-mail to family members and friends. Thanks again for your support.


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Defenders of Wildlife is a leading national conservation organization recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and habitat and known for its effective leadership on saving endangered species such as brown bears and gray wolves. Defenders advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that protect species before they become endangered. Founded in 1947, Defenders is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with more than 480,000 members and supporters.

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