15 Oct 2007

Solomons to resume dolphin export

4:09 pm on 15 October 2007

Up to 30 live dolphins will be exported from Solomon Islands to the Middle East this week, four years after the last such shipment to Mexico caused international outrage.

The Solomon Islands Marine Mammal Education Centre and Exporters Limited says the dolphins will be collected from the company's pens on the island of Gavutu and flown to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The company director, Robert Satu, says they will be flown on two DC-10s that are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Several international conservation groups including the San Francisco-based Earth Islands Institute have decried the decision by the government in Honiara to allow the resumption of the live dolphin trade.

The Solomon Islands banned the practice in 2003 following the outcry over the shipment of dolphins to Mexico.

But Mr Satu took the government to court, claiming the ban was illegal, and won in a landmark ruling earlier this year.