28 Aug 2009

Solomon Islands Fisheries Minister denies live dolphins about to be exported

6:38 pm on 28 August 2009

The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Solomon Islands says he's not aware of any immediate plans for the export of live dolphins, but he supports the practice.

An export trade in live dolphins has been ongoing since a high court ruling two and a half years ago overturned its 2003 ban by the government.

Lawrence Makili, the director of Earth Island Institute's Pacific programme for marine mammals, says 30 dolphins are being held in pens and 18 are bound for Panama.

Nollen Leni says while there have been no preparations for a shipment, he can't understand why the trade is criticised.

"Why don't you talk to all these purse seiner companies catching more dolphins with the tuna out in the ocean. We're only exporting less than a hundred. They're killing more than thousands of dolphins in those giant purse seine nets"

Nollen Leni of the Solomon Islands government.