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HOT DISCUSSION On ISSF Saying Dolphin-Tuna Catch Is Green Global, July 26, 12

The discussion board on atuna.com is heating up about the recent Atuna article, "ISSF Scientists Rate Purse Seining on Tuna & Dolphins as Green," and it includes comments from both Friend of the Sea and the Earth Island Institute, who oppose the safe rating.

"ISSF is making a big mistake for its member companies, and consumer confidence will certainly be diminished in canned tuna. ISSF must re-rate this method of fishing to ORANGE," wrote Mark Berman of the Earth Island Institute (EII), the organization behind the "Dolphin Safe" logo.

According to ISSF scientists, purse seining on tuna-dolphin associations got the "green" go-ahead due to improved catching techniques that allow dolphins to be released alive after a set. The Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) estimates the number of dolphins killed has declined by 98% since the late 1980s, says ISSF in its 2012 report.

Friend of the Sea, however, wrote about the use of explosives in these fisheries to group dolphins and "harass and deliberately kill marine animals."

"Those who claim this practice is 'Green' have no understanding of fisheries sustainability," wrote someone from the eco-label, Friend of the Sea.

Commenter "Jim's Spirit" posed a series of questions to Berman and mentions consumers should not be worried because they are eating skipjack tuna - found in the majority of canned tuna - from the Western Pacific Ocean, and not yellowfin from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. It is in this region, the Eastern Pacific Ocean, that dolphins only swim with yellowfin tuna.

"Unfortunately consumers have no clue about the real problem, and have never been told that the skipjack they eat NEVER associate with dolphins. If consumers are understanding it all wrong, should we then blindly follow what they think - ignoring science?"

Others also expressed their views to the rating. Commenter "John Heitz" described it as a "step backwards," while the EII's Angel Herrera wrote the ISSF's opinion is as "biased" as a "Japanese whale hunter talking about sustainability in whale stocks."

To view the complete comments and to join the discussion, read and go to the bottom of the
atuna.com article.