Greenpeace Responds to Cockburn and St. Clair

There is, indeed, a definite number of dolphins Greenpeace believes it is acceptable to kill: ZERO. This has been our position for 25 years and remains our position today. But you can't just take positions. You must act and work for solutions. Fundamental to our actions is the belief that true environmental protection can only be achieved globally. One country acting alone can only save some dolphins. One country acting alone cannot save the oceans, the atmosphere, or even the forests. Thus, Greenpeace supports the "Panama Declaration," which brought tuna-fishing countries to the table to:* Reduce dolphin deaths to zero by 1999;* Be legally binding;* Require mandatory enforcement measures and international reporting;* Broaden the measures by which the entire ecosystem can be protected, thereby saving dolphins and other marine species, such as sharks and turtles, caught in the process of fishing for tuna;* Reward responsible fishermen who do not kill any dolphins while catching tuna;* Make sure the "dolphin-safe" label is not used as a "greenwashing" tool by those who continue to make a killing at the expense of the dolphins and future tuna stocks.Getting all of these nations to agree on these issues is not easy. And it will require changes in U.S. laws. But, we believe this approach will ultimately result in saving far more dolphins than the current U.S.-specific tuna embargo. Our Greenpeace sister offices in Latin America, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Central America, and Argentina, led Greenpeace U.S. and the rest of our international organization to respond favorably to the Panama Declaration. We all wanted to extend the spirit of U.S. dolphin protection worldwide. Prior to this declaration, Greenpeace worked with environmental organizations, the United States and other governments to institute tough regulations, economic sanctions and trade embargoes. We also worked with fishermen to help change their practices at sea by adopting conservation oriented objectives. Through citizen action we pressed Congress in the mid-1980s to impose an embargo prohibiting the importing of tuna which may have been caught by methods in which dolphins were killed in the process. Out of that was born the "dolphin-safe" tuna label. The label played a significant role in educating the public and began a process to stop the killing of dolphins. That was no small victory. And neither is the Panama Declaration. The declaration will genuinely save more dolphins. The time has come to replace unilateral embargoes with strong international regulations. If we succeed in getting governments and fishermen around the world to agree to our "ZERO" goal of dolphin deaths then we will have a package of environmental protections for dolphins, for ecosystems, and for our children's future. That's a package we can live with regardless of how it's labeled.

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