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EII New Policy: Tuna From IUU Vessels Not Dolphin Safe

Earth Island Institute (EII) – International Tuna Monitoring Program for Dolphin Safe Tuna has released its 2008’s annual report including results from the past year and new policies for this one.

As a new policy for 2009, EII report states that companies will not purchase or process any tuna caught by vessels that are listed by international tuna commissions as IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) vessels: “Earth Island Institute reserves the right to confirm the legal status of such vessels to ensure that any change in vessel status are reflected in this policy”.

The report states that within last year 463 inspections were carried out by EII monitors globally. The institute counts on eight international monitors plus three directors based in San Francisco, U.S.

According to the report, EII’s monitoring program includes more than 300 tuna companies, brokers, fishermen, and retail outlets in more than 50 countries.

“Verifying the dolphin-safe operations of tuna companies around the world has been instrumental in the protection of dolphins and other marine life and provides consumer confidence in tuna products.  We are proud of the work of our monitors and heartened by the hundreds of tuna companies that have honestly and diligently complied with the Dolphin Safe standards.  Under ISO 9001 and 14001 standards, we have independent recognition of the quality of our work”, states the report.

According to Mark Berman, Associate Director, 2008 inspections were done in the following countries: Philippines, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, PNG, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Viet Nam, Korea,  Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Azores, Portugal, US, Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, Mauritius, India and others.

EII observers found 14 tuna shipments and other incidents in nonconformance with Dolphin Safe Standards, from which 6 has already made the necessary changes so, they could keep the certification.

However, the following companies were de-listed from EII program: Kisocan, United seafood Processors, Dayang, Lung Soon, Slong Soon, Chieu Wei, Omani Saudi Food and Overseas Marketing of India.