15 Jan 2009

Solomon Islands exports another batch of dolphins

12:25 pm on 15 January 2009

11 bottlenose dolphins are expected to leave Solomon Islands today aboard a Turkish Cargo plane.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that it's likely the dolphins are bound for the Philippines, where seven of the mammals were sent last month from the Solomons.

Shipments have been ongoing since a Solomon Islands court ruling in December 2007 overturned the government's ban on the live dolphin export trade of 2003.

The government's policy to allow the capture and export of up to 100 bottlenose dolphins a year has been attacked by environmental activists who claim the exported dolphins often die in their new, artificial habitats.

A local activist, Lawrence Makili, says it's been recommended internationally that unless population statistics of dolphins in Solomon Islands waters are recorded, the country shouldn't be exporting any of them.

The 11 dolphins are estimated to have been sold for about 660,000 US dollars.