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Label Able: Dolphin Safe

We see the term Dolphin Safe a lot when buying tuna. Is it better for us or is it just good marketing?


Dolphin Safe on a label suggests that some level of dolphin protection has been taken when catching the tuna. In order to label the tuna as dolphin safe the fishers must not have intentionally chased, netted or encircled the dolphins during tuna fishing. Why search for dolphins when you want tuna? Well basically the fishers realized that where there are dolphins, there are tuna (because dolphins eat tuna).

The loophole is that encirclement of any other items is still allowed. The problem is that allowing encirclement with nets and other fishing techniques can still catch dolphins which can therefore still harm dolphins.

Fit's Tip: Buying tuna with the dolphin safe label is definitely best for the animal's safety, but it does not have any real health benefits. Some labels are verified so you can hope that the tuna you buy is one of those. Go here for a list of approved dolphin safe tuna. I can still remember the days when I refused to eat tuna because I thought that dolphin meat would be all mixed in that little can. That was never the issue -- the label is in place for the safety of the dolphins.

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