28 Aug 2009

Solomon Islands dolphins bound for Panama says environmentalist

3:47 pm on 28 August 2009

A Solomon Islands environmentalist says the government is about to export another batch of live dolphins, this time to Panama.

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.

Wildlife organisations have attacked the Government's policy to allow the capture and export of up to 100 bottlenose dolphins a year on the basis that the animals do not adapt to life in captivity.

Lawrence Makili of Earth Island Institute says 30 dolphins are being held in pens and 18 are bound for Panama.

"We were trying to verify the facts of when they were going to go out: no, you can't. Because in this country in Solomon Islands it is very difficult to find any information with regards to that sort of issue, when you have everybody in the ministries that are dealing with these issues collaborating with their bosses. There's nothing as public information."

Lawrence Makili of Earth Island Institute.