World trade body rules against US, for Mexico in long-running dispute on 'dolphin-safe' tuna

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

The World Trade Organization has found that the U.S. needs to amend rules underpinning "dolphin-safe" tuna labels, upholding a complaint by Mexico in a long-running dispute.

The U.S. revised rules in 2013 following a previous WTO ruling but Mexico returned to the Geneva-based trade body, arguing they still treat Mexican tuna less favorably than fish from elsewhere.

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A panel found Tuesday that tougher tracking and verification requirements are applied to the Eastern Tropical Pacific, where Mexican boats operate, than elsewhere. It said different requirements are applied "in a manner that constitutes unjustifiable and arbitrary discrimination."

Schools of tuna tend to gather and swim around some species of dolphins. Fishermen often have located tuna by tracking dolphins with speedboats and helicopters, then circling them with nets to get at tuna underneath.