2 Dec 2011

Activist says Solomons lackadaisical laws allow illegal dolphin export

2:29 pm on 2 December 2011

A marine activist in the Solomon Islands blames what he calls his country's inadequate laws for the illegal export of 25 live dolphins to China.

The Regional Director of Earth Island Institute, Lawrence Makili, says the bottlenose dolphins were flown from Honiara to Guangdong Province last week.

The export - scheduled for September - was held up when it was revealed that the local exporter's fishing licences had expired.

"The saddest part of it is that they [the exporters] took advantage of the inadequacy of our law system. The Solomon Islands - being a very small country - we don't have the laws in place to protect animals as well as other places in the world that do have."

Mr Makili is concerned that some of the dolphins would have died on the journey to China, due to the stress of being cooped up and unable to move in a container partly submerged in water.

In September, the Solomons' government passed a new policy to ban all dolphin exports from January next year.