Costco is being sued for misrepresenting their Kirkland Signature White Albacore Tuna in Water.
According to Melinda Wright's lawsuit in the Northern District of California, the distributor refers to its products as "dolphin safe," meaning that they "are manufactured using fishing methods that neither kill nor harm dolphins."
According to Wright, Costco's "grim reality" is that fishing practices "seriously injure and kill thousands of dolphins and marine life each year."
According to the complaint, Costco labels things as dolphin-safe in order to benefit from "sustainability concerned consumers" and "innocent marine life."
Wright claims that Costco violates California consumer protection laws by stating that its tuna is "100% Monofilament Leaders & Circle Hooks" and "100% Traceable from Sea to Shelf."
According to the lawsuit, the latter assertion cannot be substantiated, and while monofilament (nylon) lines and circular hooks reduce the risk of marine animal entanglement, they cannot prevent dolphins from being injured or killed.
The lawsuit argues that the "dolphin safe" logo on Costco's tuna cans, which displays two dolphins, is not the official U.S. Department of Commerce label.
To use that logo or a label different than the official logo, Costco would require confirmation that dolphins were not damaged or killed in tuna fishing equipment, a label tracking and verification method, and FTC compliance.
According to the complaint, Bumble Bee has been supplying Kirkland with tuna since 2002 and publicly confesses to employing longline fishing methods on its website. According to Wright, it captures dolphins and other marine creatures.
Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea, and StarKist were all sued in 2019 for their "dolphin safe" tuna labelling.