AIDCP Dolphin Safe


AIDCP wins FAO Margarita Lizárraga Award

In November 2005, FAO recognized the “unqualified success” of the AIDCP, and awarded it the Margarita Lizárraga award in recognition of its “comprehensive, sustainable and catalytic initiatives” in support of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

Press release regarding the Margarita Lizárraga medal


Updated information on the status of the dolphin stocks in the EPO (2015) in substitution for the information contained in the September 2002 Report to the US Secretary of Commerce.

Press release on the introduction of the AIDCP dolphin safe label

The first objective of the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (
AIDCP) is to reduce incidental dolphin mortalities in the purse-seine fishery in the eastern Pacific Ocean to levels approaching zero. This Agreement and its predecessor, the 1992 La Jolla Agreement, have been spectacularly successful in meeting this objective, as shown by the reduction in mortality of dolphins incidental to fishing. (see Table)

During 2021 96.5% of all sets made on tuna associated with dolphins were accomplished with no mortality or serious injury to the dolphins. Furthermore, the total mortality of dolphins in the fishery has been reduced from about 132,000 in 1986 to a low of 729 in 2021.

The Tuna Tracking System established under the AIDCP tracks the tuna caught in each set from the time it is captured until it is unloaded. Tuna caught in sets in which dolphins are not killed or seriously injured is defined as "dolphin-safe".

Further reading:

Francis, Robert C., Frank T. Awbrey, Clifford A. Goudey, Martin A. Hall, Dennis M. King, Harold Medina, Kenneth S. Norris, Michael K. Orbach, Roger Payne, and Ellen Pikitch.1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.: xii, 176 pp.

Gosliner, Michael L. 1999. The tuna-dolphin controversy. In Twiss, John R., Jr., and Randall R. Reeves (editors), Conservation and Management of Marine Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington: 120-155. 

Hall, Martín A.  1998.  An ecological view of the tuna-dolphin problem: impacts and trade-offs. Rev. Fish Biol. Fish., 8: 1-34.

Joseph, James.  1994.  The tuna-dolphin controversy in the eastern Pacific Ocean: biological, economic, and political impacts. Ocean. Develop. Inter. Law, 25 (1): 1-30.

Scott, Michael.  1996.  The tuna-dolphin controversy. Whalewatcher, 30 (1): 16-30.

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Last modified: 23 Jul 2022