The dispute centered on the restrictive effects of the “dolphin-safe” label on Mexican tuna exports to the US. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has issued a final ruling in favor of Mexico in a dispute over the restrictive effects caused by “dolphin-safe” labels for exports of Mexican tuna products to the US market.
The Appellate Body fully recognized Mexico’s efforts to favor the sustainability of marine ecosystems and dolphins, which is why it found the “dolphin-safe” label to be in violation of the United States’ WTO obligations.
The government of Mexico, for its part, recognized the WTO decision, which confirms that the fishing methods used by the Mexican fleet are responsible in accordance with the highest international standards for the protection of not only dolphins.
The method used by our tuna fleet is governed by the Agreement on the International Program for the Protection of Dolphins, recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as the most sustainable, because in addition to protecting dolphins, they are not hunted by the tuna resource by avoiding the catch of immature tuna, which other fishing fleets from other countries are working, thus jeopardizing tuna resources and thus the supply of tuna, as is already happening in other seas.
This decision confirms a favorable result for Mexico where the “dolphin safe” labeling requirements were clearly found to be discriminatory and affect the importation and marketing of Mexican tuna in the United States.
With this ruling, this process has been definitively and successfully concluded for Mexico, confirming that the “dolphin-safe” labeling is in violation of WTO rules by imposing less favorable treatment on Mexican tuna than that accorded to tuna from other countries or those using other fishing methods which do not protect dolphins, which has been proven.
In accordance with World Trade Organization rules, the adoption of this report will be formalized in the next 30 days, after which the United States will have a reasonable period, not to exceed 15 months, to comply with the Appellate Body’s recommendations.
The Government of Mexico reiterated its commitment to work together with the US Government to achieve fair and efficient access to Mexican tuna exports to the US market and to continue to strengthen the protection of dolphins and other marine species affected by other fishing methods used by other countries.
Likewise, Mexico called on the United States to promote and practice increasingly sustainable fishing methods in all seas that respect all species, including dolphins.
This result will benefit an important industry for the country whose total production was 112 million 422 thousand dollars in 2011, with an annual average of total production over the last 20 years of 134 million 683 thousand dollars, and which employs more than 10,000 workers. Mexicans.