1977 Scorecard Vote
(H.R. 6970): The vote is on the McClosket-Bonker amendment to reduce the number of porpoises that could be killed by tuna fishermen from 78,900 down to 68,910 during 1977. The amendment also directed the Secretary of Commerce to make further quota reductions in future years. The amendment also banned the importation of fish products whose production caused dolphin kills exceeding U.S. standards. Passage of this amendment was considered a victory for environmentalists and a setback for the tuna industry, which had pressured the House Merchant Marine Fisheries Committee to increase the quotas that had previously been set by the Department of Commerce. Porpoises frequently get strangled in the purse-seine nets used to catch deep swimming yellow fin tuna. American tuna fishermen were killing over 100,000 porpoises annually, causing significant declines in population and endangering the Eastern Spinner Porpoise. Environmentalists argued that the fishermen could greatly reduce porpoise mortality through the use of proper equipment, care and timing. They were proven right when, under stricter government observation, the tuna industry killed only 28,000 porpoises this last year. Adopted 244-109. June 1, 1977. YES is the correct vote.