The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation (H.R. 4075) amending the Marine Mammal Protection Act that preserves the “Dolphin Deadline,” a key provision that sets the timeline to reduce the death and injury of marine mammals by commercial fishing operations to insignificant levels. Two previous versions of the bill introduced in this Congress would have removed the Dolphin Deadline.
“Oceana is pleased that the House reconsidered the ill-advised idea of eliminating the Dolphin Deadline in the Marine Mammal Protection Act,” said Ted Morton, federal policy director at Oceana. “By maintaining the Dolphin Deadline, the House has reaffirmed the importance of protecting dolphins and whales from harm by commercial fishing operations and we thank the members of Congress who acted to ensure that the protections are retained.”
Oceana campaigned aggressively to ensure that the Dolphin Deadline was retained in any legislative action on the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The House passed the bill maintaining the Dolphin Deadline following a comprehensive advocacy effort by Oceana, including education and outreach, advertising, and media directed at Capitol Hill.
The House action comes in the wake of a poll and news stories indicating strong support for the Marine Mammal Protection Act from Republicans.
“Recent polling by Oceana of Republican voters in Ohio found that more than three-quarters support the Marine Mammal Protection Act and believe that Congress has a responsibility to protect marine mammals like dolphins and whales,” said Morton.
Oceana asserts that while there have been many success stories due to this landmark conservation statute there is still significant work to be done to protect America’s marine mammals.
“Our research shows that many marine mammals are still being killed in too large numbers,” continued Morton. “Now it is time to make sure that federal policy meets the public’s expectations.”