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The five environmental organization (147) that supported the Panama Declaration also supported the IDCPA. The Ocean Conservancy viewed the change in dolphin-safe standards as an incentive for foreign fisheries to improve encirclement practices and foresaw nations "banding together to eliminate dolphin mortality.
Critics of the IDCPA included Earth Island Institute, Marine Mammal Fund, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society.
They requested summary judgment, contending that the Secretary's initial finding should be set aside because it was "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and contrary to law." (164) The basis of their claim was the Secretary's failure to consider preliminary data from the dolphin stress studies mandated by the IDCPA. (165)
(169) To exemplify Congress' intent, they looked directly to the language of the IDCPA, which is stricter than what is required by the Declaration of Panama.
Because of this decision, a change in the "dolphin-safe" labeling standard is on hold until the Secretary makes a finding based on the results of the stress research required by the IDCPA.
(175) They alleged that the Secretary's Interim-Final Rule was contrary to the IDCPA and therefore not in accordance with the law.
Also, the IDCPA offers more of a "multilateral approach to dolphin protection" than did the MMPA as enacted in 1972.(324) Although the Secretary of Commerce still has the power to unilaterally reinstate an embargo on any country not in compliance with the Declaration of Panama and the IDCPA, the current statute calls for multilateral bargaining between the United States and an offending country encouraging such negotiations to acknowledge the environmental objectives of the MMPA.(325) Additionally, the fact that the IDCPA is founded on the Declaration of Panama,(326) itself a multilateral agreement, might assuage the WTO of its concerns over any seemingly unilateral action on the part of the United States.(327)
A future embargo on tuna from countries using purse seine nets in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean in violation of the Declaration of Panama and the IDCPA will almost definitely draw another WTO challenge, but attention paid to the lessons learned from the shrimp-turtle dispute might gain WTO approval of the ban.
(315) See IDCPA, supra note 308, [sections] 1385(d)(2)(A).
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