In a lawsuit made public late last week, Earth Island Institute and other environmental organizations have sued the U.S. government for relaxing labeling standards for “dolphin-safe” tuna. The suit stems from a decision by the U.S. Commerce Department to classify as dolphin-safe a previously prohibited method of fishing — in which dolphins are encircled with nets to trap tuna swimming below — so long as an onboard observer certified that no dolphins were killed or injured in the process. The change in classification would primarily affect Mexico, which has been excluded from the U.S. market for more than a decade because its tuna fleet relies almost entirely on this netting practice. The lawsuit claims the government is ignoring its own evidence that the netting method is harming dolphins. David Phillips of Earth Island Institute called the reclassification “no more than a political gift to Mexico at the expense of dolphin lives.”