Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/24/1992)

International Dolphin Conservation Act of 1992 - Amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to authorize entering into international agreements establishing a global moratorium, for at least five years, prohibiting harvesting tuna using purse seine nets deployed on or to encircle dolphins or other marine mammals. Allows moratorium termination with respect to the United States before the year 2000 only if the Secretary of Commerce so recommends and the Congress, by a joint resolution, approves.

Specifies elements to be contained in such agreements, including requirements for: (1) research regarding tuna fishing methods; (2) review of research proposals by a competent regional organization; (3) the conduct of research by dedicated vessels, approved and observed by a competent regional organization; (4) specified limits on the number of research sets and the total annual dolphin mortality; (5) establishment by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission of a panel to report on limit compliance and an Advisory Board to guide research; (6) fair funding mechanisms for the research; (7) use of the proceeds from harvested tuna for the research; and (8) limiting use of U.S. funds to research on fishing methods not involving intentionally encircling dolphins or other marine mammals. Requires review of all research proposals by the Marine Mammal Commission.

Requires the Secretary, in certain circumstances, to recommend to the Congress whether the moratorium should be terminated.

Prohibits a ban on the importation of yellowfin tuna or yellowfin tuna products from a country which implements the moratorium and meets other requirements. Mandates such a ban regarding countries which do not implement the moratorium and the other requirements. Mandates, with regard to any country that still (60 days after the tuna ban) fails to implement all the requirements, a ban on the importation of one or more those fish and fish product categories that the President considers appropriate. Requires that the banned categories have had an aggregate customs valuation equal to 40 percent of the aggregate customs valuation of all fish and fish products imported from that country during the preceding year.

Imposes additional restrictions on the general permit issued to the American Tunaboat Association, including: (1) limiting total dolphin mortalities; (2) prohibiting deploying purse seine nets on or encircling dolphin schools that include certain types of dolphin; and (3) subject to condition, terminating the permit on a specified date. Declares that an international agreement under this Act shall not supersede any provisions of the Act requiring a permit.

Makes unlawful certain acts, including: (1) selling, purchasing, or transporting in the United States any tuna or tuna product that is not dolphin safe; (2) purposefully setting a purse seine net on or to encircle any marine mammal during tuna fishing; (3) importing tuna or fish in violation of an import ban; or (4) prohibiting, resisting, or interfering with inspections. Imposes civil and criminal penalties and subjects vessels, cargo, and fish to forfeiture for violations. Defines dolphin safe to mean: (1) not harvested using driftnets; and (2) depending on where harvested, either dolphin safe under specified provisions of the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act or certified as not harvested using purse seine nets set on or encircling dolphins.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out provisions mandating inclusion in the agreements of research programs.

Provides for a finding that a nation which imports yellowfin tuna and exports yellowfin tuna to the United States is not an intermediary nation.

Amends the Tuna Conventions Act to require that, of the U.S. representatives on the International Commission for the Scientific Investigation of Tuna and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, at least one be chosen from a nongovernmental conservation organization. Requires that the members of a related advisory committee be selected, in addition to other sources, from such an organization.

Amends the South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988 to authorize appropriations to carry out a specified Treaty on Fisheries Between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the United States and to carry out the Act.