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Articles by Rick Gaffney

Rick Gaffney is a freelance photojournalist who lives in Hawaii and specializes in the marine environment and ocean recreation.

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There were predictable cries of protest from some conservationists who focus on charismatic megafauna when revised standards for use of the “dolphin safe” tuna label were announced by the Commerce Department in April. Though the new rules stipulate that no dolphins should be killed or seriously injured, they do let canners label their product “dolphin safe” even if tuna are caught using large, encircling nets that can snare dolphins.

Charismatic megafauna at play.

Photo: NOAA.

The environmental community is split on the revised rules. Greenpeace and the Center for Marine Conservation, among other organizations, say the changes are needed to get the international fishing community on board with stronger dolphin protections. A separate coalition of groups, including Defenders of Wildlife and the Earth Island Institute, filed suit against the Commerce Department in August, seeking to overturn the new rules.

Yet another side of the story is that protection of dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean under the old “dolphin safe” rules resulted in the slaughter of millions u... Read more