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ALL TUNA SOLD IN U.S. MUST MEET CRITERIA OF DOLPHIN SAFETY

SHARE ALL TUNA SOLD IN U.S. MUST MEET CRITERIA OF DOLPHIN SAFETY

As of Wednesday, only tuna caught without endangering dolphins can be sold, purchased or shipped in the United States - under terms of the 1992 Marine Mammal Protection Act.

More than 90 percent of the tuna sold in this country already meets that standard, officials of the National Marine Fisheries Service said.In past years, many fishing fleets found tuna by tracking dolphins, which often swim with the fish. The fleets would then encircle the dolphins with large nets, capturing both the tuna and the marine mammals.

Public concern about dolphins caused the fleets to reduce this practice and dolphin-safe tuna began appearing on the market in the 1980s.

The change has reduced the number of eastern tropical Pacific dolphins killed during tuna fishing from 400,000 per year in the 1960s and 1970s to 3,600 last year, the fisheries service said.