Jan 152015

Tuna fishermen in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean know that schools of yellowfin tuna swim beneath dolphin pods. Since 1950, while targeting dolphins in pursuit of tuna, these fishermen have inadvertently caught and killed over six million of these mammals. Such mortality prompted congress to create the “dolphin-safe tuna” label in 1990 that prohibits the intentional netting of dolphins. Since then, annual dolphin mortality has decreased from more than 100,000 dolphin kills to about 3,000. For years, Mexico has used the encirclement method of tuna fishing and has been denied our dolphin-safe label for intentionally catching dolphins in their nets. Opponents claim this method of chasing down dolphins has resulted in much higher dolphin mortality rates than reported – from injuries, separation of calves from mothers, and physiological stress that damages heart muscles. Some depleted dolphin stocks have not recovered. Currently, at least three dolphin populations remain at risk from inadvertent fishing: the northeastern offshore and the coastal spotted dolphins and the eastern spinner dolphin.

Pending Legislations:

S.269 & H.R.69 – Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current dolphin catch policy and wish to defeat S.269 & H.R.69

I support identifying vessels and vessel owners engaged in illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing; taking appropriate action against such vessels and vessel owners in accordance with U.S. and international law, and wish to pass S.269 & H.R.69

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Marine turtles are long-lived, late-maturing and highly migratory. Only about one in 5,000 hatchlings live to adulthood. With the exception of one species, every sea turtle in the world is listed as threatened or endangered. Coastal development and human exploitation contributes to loss of habitat and nesting sites. Illegal international trade seriously threatens wild populations of many marine turtle species, particularly the hawksbill turtle. Floating debris and water pollution also contribute to mortality, as does international commercial fishing and inadvertent capture. Sea turtles are facing growing pressure from strong demand for its meat and shells. Poaching and egg harvesting are further pushing this slow-growing reptile rapidly to extinction. Because marine turtles are flagship species for the ecosystems in which they live, sustaining healthy populations of marine turtles provides benefits to many other species of wildlife, including many that are either threatened or endangered.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1329 – Marine Turtle Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2013

I oppose reauthorizing the 2004 Marine Turtle Conservation Act and wish to defeat H.R.1329

I support authorizing not less than 20% of amounts made available from the Martine Turtle Conservation Fund for any fiscal year to be used for projects relating to the conservation of marine turtles in the United States and wish to pass H.R.1329

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Efforts to reverse the decline of the whale species began in 1946 with the establishment of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It unsuccessfully attempted to protect whales by setting sustainable whaling quotas. However, 66,000 whales were taken in 1962 alone, and by 1982 the Commission realized a total moratorium on whaling was needed to prevent the extinction of this majestic species. About 32,000 whales have been killed since 1986 and at least 1,500 whales are killed worldwide each year. The IWC moratorium compliance is voluntary and Japan, Norway and Iceland harvest whales under a “scientific study” loophole. These nations claim to kill only whales that are relatively plentiful such as the Minke whale. However, whaling opponents claim whale meat tested in Japan’s fish markets reveal DNA of several whale species banned for any type of “take” including Blue, Humpback and Fin whales. Opponents say that since prohibited whale meat is sold in its restaurants, Japan’s research whaling program is actually commercial whaling in disguise. However, there are indications the efforts of anti-whaling protesters are having an effect on this industry. Japan’s commercial whale-meat market has crashed and when Australia filed charges against Japan’s whaling practices in The Hague International Court of Justice in the Netherlands, the Court found Japan’s Southern Ocean whale hunt to be illegal under international law. Advocates say this decision was a pivotal moment in the history of the IWC. Ironically, whale-watching has become a thriving industry accounting for $1 billion in annual revenue in 87 countries. This, and designated sanctuaries including those in the Indian and Southern Oceans, have had a positive effect on whale populations. Marine sanctuaries, off-limits to whaling, are places of refuge where whales can feed and breed, and where non-lethal scientific research can be done. President Obama has recently proposed doubling the size of the Pacific Ocean sanctuary, protecting this huge area from fishing and other environmentally harmful human activities.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current whaling policy

I support establishing a national whale conservation endowment fund to be used to support research, management activities, or educational programs that contribute to the protection, conservation, or recovery of whale populations in U.S. waters, and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce S.2172 – National Whale Conservation Fund Act of 1998 (105th Congress 1997-1998)

I support efforts, including financial aid, to organizations that will reduce or eliminate whaling worldwide




 Posted by at 12:00 am