Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act Law and Legal Definition

Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal legislation that prohibits the false labeling of tuna products as dolphin safe if the tuna is harvested using methods harmful to dolphins. The provisions of the Act are codified at 16 U.S.C § 1385. This a Act found within the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

This Act was enacted in 1990, as a result of the findings that dolphins and other marine mammals are frequently killed during tuna fishing operations in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and during high seas driftnet fishing in other parts of the world. Consequent to these findings, the U.S. formulated policies to support a worldwide ban on high seas driftnet fishing, in part because of the harmful effects the driftnets have on marine mammals; consumers would like to know whether the tuna they purchase is falsely labeled regarding the effect of tuna harvesting on dolphins.

The Act prohibits any producer, importer, exporter, distributor or seller of any tuna product exported from or offered for sale in the U.S. to include on the label of that product the term dolphin safe or any other term or symbol that falsely claims or suggests that the tuna was harvested using a method of fishing that is not harmful to dolphins, if the product contains tuna harvested on the high seas by driftnet fishing or harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean using purse seine nets that are not dolphin safe. A violation of this section is a violation of § 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.