In cooperation with the Earth Island Institute, USA, GRD implements the International Monitoring Program (IMP) for dolphin-safe tuna to save thousands of whales and dolphins from dying as bycatch.

20 years ago, GRD started to implement Earth Island’s monitoring program for dolphin-safe tuna (IMP) in Germany. The IMP is one of the largest and most successful environmental programs in the world. The ISO 9001 certification underlines its quality and trustworthiness.

The International Monitoring Program was founded in 1990 by the American Earth Island Institute (EII) to monitor tuna fishing operations around the world to ensure the tuna is caught by methods that do not harm dolphins and protect the marine ecosystem.

Tuna fishing fleets in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) deliberately target dolphin schools because they know that yellowfin tuna swim beneath them.

Since the late 1950's, the tuna fishery has killed more than 7 million dolphins

Dead dolphin tuna fisching vesselIn 1990, consumer pressure brought about the "Dolphin Safe" tuna program, which has worked to protect dolphins. Reported dolphin deaths have declined by 97% since then.

As EII’s partner, GRD has been instrumental in the issue of Dolphin Safe tuna monitoring and education. GRD was the first non-governmental organization to assist the American Earth Island Institute in its monitoring program for dolphin-safe tuna/SAFE by working with the German canned tuna industry to verify the dolphin-safe status of tuna supplies.

Today, EII’s standards are adhered to by more than 90% of the world’s tuna companies. More than 450 companies have joined the IMP, subscribing to EII’s dolphin-safe policy which ensures that no dolphins were chased, harassed or killed in tuna nets.

An international crew of 12 EII monitors is in charge of ensuring that the companies adhere to EII’s strict dolphin-safe standards. In 2011, EII staff carried out 493 inspections, checking fishing vessels, landing ports, storage facilities, canneries and documents.

"Verifying the dolphin-safe operations of tuna companies around the world has been instrumental in the protection of dolphins and other marine life," says David Phillips, Director of Earth Island’s International Marine Mammal Program. "We are proud of the work of our monitors and heartened by the hundreds of tuna companies that have honestly and diligently complied with the Dolphin Safe standards. Under ISO 9001 standards we have independent recognition of the quality of our work."

The SAFE program also includes additional by-catch reduction measures to protect marine turtles and other marine life such as sharks and billfish like swordfish and marlin to minimize the negative impacts of the fisheries on the ecosystem.

EII also promotes the sustainability of tuna stocks.

Furthermore, shark finning is strictly prohibited.

Thanks to the worldwide cooperation with tuna fishing companies, canneries, importers and retailers, EII’s monitoring program is one of the largest voluntary environmental food monitoring efforts in the world.
Ulrike Kirsch

Consumer Tips

Watch out for the Dolphin-SAFE Tuna Logo

NewDolphinSafe_2Make sure that when you buy canned tuna you see this logo. The registered SAFE logo by the American NGO Earth Island Institute (EII) is only awarded to companies affiliated with the international dolphin safe tuna monitoring program and regularly monitored by the GRD and EII.

For further information and a current list of approved German tuna importers, reta ilers, and brands please check: (Germany) or (Earth Island Institute).

Watch out for the Friend of the Sea (FoS) Sustainable Seafood Logo

FOS-Logo240dpiThis logo stands for certified sustainable seafood. It has been developed by staff of the Earth Island Institute and includes the adherence to EII’s tuna dolphin SAFE standards.

It is available for sustainable seafood from fisheries and aquaculture.

For further information please check the FoS website: