15 Apr 2010

Environmentalists say new agreement with Malaitans will save 2,000 dolphins a year

4:57 pm on 15 April 2010

The environmental organisation, Earth Island Institute, says it's signed an agreement with two villages in Solomon Islands to stop hunting dolphins.

This comes after an established trader in the mammals, Christopher Porter, announced he would be leaving the business and release his remaining animals.

Earth Island's Mark Berman has returned to the United States from a visit to Solomon Islands to help Mr Porter with planning the release.

Mr Berman says the institute has struck a two-year deal with the people of Fanalei and Walande in south Malaita, who were killing about 2000 dolphins a year.

"Mainly for the culture of teeth, which they've decided is no longer a valid culture. They want now hard cash, teeth have been used for traditional money, now they see they need to progress into the new modern time with a means of making a living where they can have hard cash."

Mark Berman says Earth Island's agreed to help the villagers develop new ways of making a living.