16 U.S.C. § 1385 : US Code - Section 1385: Dolphin protection

Search 16 U.S.C. § 1385 : US Code - Section 1385: Dolphin protection

    (a) Short title
      This section may be cited as the "Dolphin Protection Consumer
    Information Act".
    (b) Findings
      The Congress finds that - 
        (1) dolphins and other marine mammals are frequently killed in
      the course of tuna fishing operations in the eastern tropical
      Pacific Ocean and high seas driftnet fishing in other parts of
      the world;
        (2) it is the policy of the United States to support a
      worldwide ban on high seas driftnet fishing, in part because of
      the harmful effects that such driftnets have on marine mammals,
      including dolphins; and
        (3) consumers would like to know if the tuna they purchase is
      falsely labeled as to the effect of the harvesting of the tuna on
      dolphins.
    (c) Definitions
      For purposes of this section - 
        (1) the terms "driftnet" and "driftnet fishing" have the
      meanings given those terms in section 4003 of the Driftnet Impact
      Monitoring, Assessment, and Control Act of 1987 (16 U.S.C. 1822
      note);
        (2) the term "eastern tropical Pacific Ocean" means the area of
      the Pacific Ocean bounded by 40 degrees north latitude, 40
      degrees south latitude, 160 degrees west longitude, and the
      western coastlines of North, Central, and South America;
        (3) the term "label" means a display of written, printed, or
      graphic matter on or affixed to the immediate container of any
      article;
        (4) the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Commerce; and
        (5) the term "tuna product" means a food item which contains
      tuna and which has been processed for retail sale, except
      perishable sandwiches, salads, or other products with a shelf
      life of less than 3 days.
    (d) Labeling standard
      (1) It is a violation of section 45 of title 15 for any producer,
    importer, exporter, distributor, or seller of any tuna product that
    is exported from or offered for sale in the United States to
    include on the label of that product the term "dolphin safe" or any
    other term or symbol that falsely claims or suggests that the tuna
    contained in the product were harvested using a method of fishing
    that is not harmful to dolphins if the product contains tuna
    harvested - 
        (A) on the high seas by a vessel engaged in driftnet fishing;
        (B) outside the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean by a vessel
      using purse seine nets - 
          (i) in a fishery in which the Secretary has determined that a
        regular and significant association occurs between dolphins and
        tuna (similar to the association between dolphins and tuna in
        the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean), unless such product is
        accompanied by a written statement, executed by the captain of
        the vessel and an observer participating in a national or
        international program acceptable to the Secretary, certifying
        that no purse seine net was intentionally deployed on or used
        to encircle dolphins during the particular voyage on which the
        tuna were caught and no dolphins were killed or seriously
        injured in the sets in which the tuna were caught; or
          (ii) in any other fishery (other than a fishery described in
        subparagraph (D)) unless the product is accompanied by a
        written statement executed by the captain of the vessel
        certifying that no purse seine net was intentionally deployed
        on or used to encircle dolphins during the particular voyage on
        which the tuna was harvested;

        (C) in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean by a vessel using a
      purse seine net unless the tuna meet the requirements for being
      considered dolphin safe under paragraph (2); or
        (D) by a vessel in a fishery other than one described in
      subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) that is identified by the Secretary
      as having a regular and significant mortality or serious injury
      of dolphins, unless such product is accompanied by a written
      statement executed by the captain of the vessel and an observer
      participating in a national or international program acceptable
      to the Secretary that no dolphins were killed or seriously
      injured in the sets or other gear deployments in which the tuna
      were caught, provided that the Secretary determines that such an
      observer statement is necessary.

      (2) For purposes of paragraph (1)(C), a tuna product that
    contains tuna harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean by a
    vessel using purse seine nets is dolphin safe if - 
        (A) the vessel is of a type and size that the Secretary has
      determined, consistent with the International Dolphin
      Conservation Program, is not capable of deploying its purse seine
      nets on or to encircle dolphins; or
        (B)(i) the product is accompanied by a written statement
      executed by the captain providing the certification required
      under subsection (h) of this section;
        (ii) the product is accompanied by a written statement executed
      by - 
          (I) the Secretary or the Secretary's designee;
          (II) a representative of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna
        Commission; or
          (III) an authorized representative of a participating nation
        whose national program meets the requirements of the
        International Dolphin Conservation Program,

      which states that there was an observer approved by the
      International Dolphin Conservation Program on board the vessel
      during the entire trip and that such observer provided the
      certification required under subsection (h) of this section; and
        (iii) the statements referred to in clauses (i) and (ii) are
      endorsed in writing by each exporter, importer, and processor of
      the product; and
        (C) the written statements and endorsements referred to in
      subparagraph (B) comply with regulations promulgated by the
      Secretary which provide for the verification of tuna products as
      dolphin safe.

      (3)(A) The Secretary of Commerce shall develop an official mark
    that may be used to label tuna products as dolphin safe in
    accordance with this Act.(!1)

      (B) A tuna product that bears the dolphin safe mark developed
    under subparagraph (A) shall not bear any other label or mark that
    refers to dolphins, porpoises, or marine mammals.
      (C) It is a violation of section 45 of title 15 to label a tuna
    product with any label or mark that refers to dolphins, porpoises,
    or marine mammals other than the mark developed under subparagraph
    (A) unless - 
        (i) no dolphins were killed or seriously injured in the sets or
      other gear deployments in which the tuna were caught;
        (ii) the label is supported by a tracking and verification
      program which is comparable in effectiveness to the program
      established under subsection (f) of this section; and
        (iii) the label complies with all applicable labeling,
      marketing, and advertising laws and regulations of the Federal
      Trade Commission, including any guidelines for environmental
      labeling.

      (D) If the Secretary determines that the use of a label referred
    to in subparagraph (C) is substantially undermining the
    conservation goals of the International Dolphin Conservation
    Program, the Secretary shall report that determination to the
    United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and
    Transportation and the United States House of Representatives
    Committees on Resources and on Commerce, along with recommendations
    to correct such problems.
      (E) It is a violation of section 45 of title 15 willingly and
    knowingly to use a label referred to in subparagraph (C) in a
    campaign or effort to mislead or deceive consumers about the level
    of protection afforded dolphins under the International Dolphin
    Conservation Program.
    (e) Enforcement
      Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a statement or
    endorsement described in subsection (d)(2)(B) of this section that
    is false is liable for a civil penalty of not to exceed $100,000
    assessed in an action brought in any appropriate district court of
    the United States on behalf of the Secretary.
    (f) Regulations
      The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the
    Treasury, shall issue regulations to implement this Act,(!1)
    including regulations to establish a domestic tracking and
    verification program that provides for the effective tracking of
    tuna labeled under subsection (d) of this section. In the
    development of these regulations, the Secretary shall establish
    appropriate procedures for ensuring the confidentiality of
    proprietary information the submission of which is voluntary or
    mandatory. The regulations shall address each of the following
    items:
        (1) The use of weight calculation for purposes of tracking tuna
      caught, landed, processed, and exported.
        (2) Additional measures to enhance current observer coverage,
      including the establishment of criteria for training, and for
      improving monitoring and reporting capabilities and procedures.
        (3) The designation of well location, procedures for sealing
      holds, procedures for monitoring and certifying both above and
      below deck, or through equally effective methods, the tracking
      and verification of tuna labeled under subsection (d) of this
      section.
        (4) The reporting, receipt, and database storage of radio and
      facsimile transmittals from fishing vessels containing
      information related to the tracking and verification of tuna, and
      the definition of set.
        (5) The shore-based verification and tracking throughout the
      fishing, transshipment, and canning process by means of Inter-
      American Tropical Tuna Commission trip records or otherwise.
        (6) The use of periodic audits and spot checks for caught,
      landed, and processed tuna products labeled in accordance with
      subsection (d) of this section.
        (7) The provision of timely access to data required under this
      subsection by the Secretary from harvesting nations to undertake
      the actions required in paragraph (6) of this paragraph.(!2)


    The Secretary may make such adjustments as may be appropriate to
    the regulations promulgated under this subsection to implement an
    international tracking and verification program that meets or
    exceeds the minimum requirements established by the Secretary under
    this subsection.
    (g) Secretarial findings
      (1) Between March 1, 1999, and March 31, 1999, the Secretary
    shall, on the basis of the research conducted before March 1, 1999,
    under section 1414a(a) of this title, information obtained under
    the International Dolphin Conservation Program, and any other
    relevant information, make an initial finding regarding whether the
    intentional deployment on or encirclement of dolphins with purse
    seine nets is having a significant adverse impact on any depleted
    dolphin stock in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The initial
    finding shall be published immediately in the Federal Register and
    shall become effective upon a subsequent date determined by the
    Secretary.
      (2) Between July 1, 2001, and December 31, 2002, the Secretary
    shall, on the basis of the completed study conducted under section
    1414a(a) of this title, information obtained under the
    International Dolphin Conservation Program, and any other relevant
    information, make a finding regarding whether the intentional
    deployment on or encirclement of dolphins with purse seine nets is
    having a significant adverse impact on any depleted dolphin stock
    in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The finding shall be
    published immediately in the Federal Register and shall become
    effective upon a subsequent date determined by the Secretary.
    (h) Certification by captain and observer
      (1) Unless otherwise required by paragraph (2), the certification
    by the captain under subsection (d)(2)(B)(i) of this section and
    the certification provided by the observer as specified in
    subsection (d)(2)(B)(ii) of this section shall be that no dolphins
    were killed or seriously injured during the sets in which the tuna
    were caught.
      (2) The certification by the captain under subsection
    (d)(2)(B)(i) of this section and the certification provided by the
    observer as specified under subsection (d)(2)(B)(ii) of this
    section shall be that no tuna were caught on the trip in which such
    tuna were harvested using a purse seine net intentionally deployed
    on or to encircle dolphins, and that no dolphins were killed or
    seriously injured during the sets in which the tuna were caught, if
    the tuna were caught on a trip commencing - 
        (A) before the effective date of the initial finding by the
      Secretary under subsection (g)(1) of this section;
        (B) after the effective date of such initial finding and before
      the effective date of the finding of the Secretary under
      subsection (g)(2) of this section, where the initial finding is
      that the intentional deployment on or encirclement of dolphins is
      having a significant adverse impact on any depleted dolphin
      stock; or
        (C) after the effective date of the finding under subsection
      (g)(2) of this section, where such finding is that the
      intentional deployment on or encirclement of dolphins is having a
      significant adverse impact on any such depleted stock.