Earth Island of the Blue Dolphin
In better news for enviros, a federal judge has upheld the existing definition of “dolphin-safe” tuna, thwarting an effort by the Bush administration to relax the term to include tuna caught by methods that can harm marine mammals. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson noted in his ruling yesterday that the administration’s efforts to change the definition seemed to have been driven more by trade interests than scientific evidence, a situation he described as raising “a serious question as to the integrity” of the decision-making process. Fishing fleets in Mexico, Venezuela, and elsewhere in Latin America have pressured the White House to weaken the labeling rules to allow their catch to be sold as dolphin-safe on the U.S market. Earth Island Institute, which sued for the injunction against the labeling change, greeted the ruling with delight.