Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Changes Finalized
To comply with a May 2012 decision by the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body, the National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a final rule making various amendments to its rules for labeling imported tuna as dolphin-safe. This rule will modify the requirements for the certifications that must accompany the fisheries certificate of origin, change storage requirements related to dolphin-safe and non-dolphin-safe tuna on board fishing vessels, create new requirements for processors other than canners of tuna product labeled dolphin-safe, and modify the reporting requirements associated with tracking domestic tuna canning and processing operations.
NMFS states that this rule is largely unchanged from the proposed rule it issued in April. It will be effective as of July 13 and apply to fishing trips that begin on or after that date. However, to give affected entities time to make the necessary changes, NMFS will conduct an industry education and outreach program on the provisions and requirements of this rule through Jan. 1, 2014.