Background

The Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service has issued new affirmative findings under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Spain. These findings allow the continued importation into the U.S. through March 31, 2020, of yellowfin tuna and yellowfin tuna products harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean in compliance with the International Dolphin Conservation Program by purse seine vessels flagged to these countries or operating under their jurisdiction.

NMFS states that the affirmative finding process requires that the harvesting nation is meeting its obligations under the IDCP and obligations of membership in the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. Every five years, the government of the harvesting nation must request a new affirmative finding and submit the required documentary evidence directly to NMFS. On an annual basis, NMFS reviews the affirmative finding and determines whether the harvesting nation continues to meet the requirements. An affirmative finding will be terminated if NMFS determines that the applicable requirements are no longer being met or that a nation is consistently failing to take enforcement actions on violations.

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