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NOAA NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE LAUNCHES WEB SITE FOR TRACKING AND VERIFYING DOLPHIN-SAFE TUNA PRODUCTS

NOAA image of Dolphin Safe logo.March 28, 2007 The NOAA Fisheries Service established a Web site to provide information and requirements to consumers, producers, importers, exporters and distributors regarding U.S. dolphin-safe tuna at DolphinSafe.Gov. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Dolphin Safe logo. Please credit “NOAA.”)

“This Web site will answer many of the questions tuna importers and processors may have in obtaining dolphin-safe certification for their product at an Internet address that’s easy to remember,” said Rod McInnis, NOAA Fisheries Service Southwest Regional administrator and a U.S. commissioner to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. “It also will help the public feel more confident in the authenticity of the dolphin-safe label.”

The dolphin-safe label indicates to consumers that dolphins were not intentionally encircled with nets nor harmed when the tuna were caught.

Due to the unique association between tuna and dolphins, found only in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, Congress passed the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act in 1990 to give consumers the opportunity to know if the tuna they purchase is falsely labeled. Mandates of this legislation included the establishment of a government tracking program and the creation of a government dolphin-safe logo.

The Tuna Tracking and Verification Program monitors nationwide the domestic production and importation of frozen and processed tuna products. The program also periodically conducts spot checks of tuna products on store shelves and then traces the product back to where the fish were caught to verify the labeling is accurate. Retail market spot checks have been made in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Tuna Tracking and Verification Program

NOAA Fisheries Service Southwest Region

NOAA Fisheries Portal

Media Contact:
Jim Milbury, NOAA Fisheries Service, (562) 980-4006