Tuna-Dolphin Case

Tuna-Dolphin Case

The discovery that tuna fishers were ensnaring dolphins in their netting, injuring or killing many. Tuna swim near dolphins in the wild for protection from sharks. As a result, tuna fishing boats tracked dolphins to find tuna. Because dolphins are considered among the most highly intelligent species on Earth, many found this practice to be unethical. As a result, various companies and governments began taking steps to ensure tuna fishing practices were "dolphin safe" and did not injure dolphins. The U.S. Department of Commerce began issuing dolphin safe labels in 1990.
References in periodicals archive ?
Already the infamous tuna-dolphin case had brought the implications of globalization home to many Americans in ways that seemed quite different from restrictions on imports of steel or apparel.
The interpretation of Article XX played a central role in the report of two GATT panels on the "tuna-dolphin case" (GATT, 1991; 1994a).
In 1994, the tuna-dolphin case was addressed by a second GATT panel, this time focusing on the import restrictions on Mexican tuna products imported via intermediary nations (GATT, 1994a).
Rather than enter into a protracted negotiation to amend the GATT articles in question in the tuna-dolphin case, the GATT member governments could simply clarify their interpretation of the existing text.
Part IV analyzes how trade and the environment interplay within the WTO, paying particular attention to some recent GATT/WTO panel decisions: the Reformulated Gasoline Case and the Tuna-Dolphin Case. Finally, this article concludes with the observation that, despite the criticism levied against the WTO the new legalism of the WTO is a blessing in disguise for environmentalists because it is only through the principles of non-discrimination and legalism that environmental concerns can be shielded from political forces that use environmental protection as a guise for protectionism.
The next section discusses the outcome of the Tuna-Dolphin case as it was adjudicated in the GATT.
Once the school is encircled, the net is pursed by the fishing boat "by winching in a cable at the bottom edge of the net, and draws in the top cables of the net to gather its entire contents." Tuna-Dolphin Case, supra note 176, para.
(205.) See generally, Tuna-Dolphin Case, supra note 176.
As such, the Tuna-Dolphin cases represent something of an ignominious starting point against which it is possible to judge subsequent WTO progress.
(54) In the opinion of one commentator, the Tuna-Dolphin cases represent "GATT doctrinalism at its worst." (55)
Perhaps the major redeeming feature of the Tuna-Dolphin cases is that WTO Members adopted neither decision, and thus neither decision is legally binding.
Unlike the tuna-dolphin cases decided at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1991 and again in 1994, a WTO (GATT's successor) decision is binding and cannot be blocked by the US (the US successfully blocked the GATT antidolphin ruling).