Background

The Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service has renewed its affirmative findings under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain. These findings continue to allow for the period April 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023, the importation into the U.S. of yellowfin tuna and yellowfin tuna products (1) harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean by purse seine vessels operating under these nations’ jurisdiction or (2) exported from these nations.

Similarly, NMFS has issued a new affirmative finding for Peru, which will allow imports of yellowfin tuna and yellowfin tuna products harvested in the ETP by purse seine vessels operating under Peru’s jurisdiction or exported from Peru for the period April 1, 2022, through March 31, 2027.

The MMPA allows for the importation into the U.S. of yellowfin tuna harvested by purse seine vessels in the ETP from a nation with jurisdiction over purse seine vessels with carrying capacity
greater than 400 short tons that harvest tuna in the ETP only if the nation has an affirmative finding issued by the NMFS. Every five years the government of the harvesting nation must request a new affirmative finding and submit the required documentary evidence. On an annual basis NMFS must determine whether the harvesting nation continues to meet the requirements of its five-year affirmative finding.

NMFS notes that the above finding renewals does not affect implementation of an intermediary nation embargo under 50 CFR 216.24(f)(9), which applies to exports from a nation that exports to the U.S. yellowfin tuna or yellowfin tuna products subject to a ban on imports into the U.S. under section 101(a)(2)(B) of the MMPA.

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