18 March 2009

Solomon Islands to host forum on international dolphin trade

There has been widespread opposition to the legality and sustainability of the trade, along with concerns for the captured dolphins' welfare, since the Solomons began selling bottlenose dolphins in 2003.

A forum including stakeholders and NGOs will discuss the capture and sale of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, and "offers the opportunity to present information about the efforts of the Solomons Ministry for Environment, Conservation and Meteorology".

"The forum is part of its (Solomons government) continuing effort to ensure the export of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is sustainable and conducted in a transparent fashion," the Solomons government said in a statement.

“The ministry has considered these divergent interests and perspectives and has taken necessary steps to ensure the dolphin population is exploited and managed in a more sustainable manner,” it said.

The ministry said tomorrow’s forum is to ensure export of the dolphins is conducted in a transparent fashion.

“There has been so much media publicity done on this issue by different interest groups in recent years and the forum offers us the opportunity to come together and present this information while everyone is present.”

Earlier this year, a luxurious Singapore resort came under fire for importing Solomons dolphins. In 2007, 28 dolphins from the Solomons were sent to a resort in Dubai amid protests from environment groups. The dolphin shipment was criticised by the Australian and New Zealand governments. The two countries also protested a shipment of 28 Solomons dolphins to Mexico in 2004.

Full articles on the wildsingapore news blog.

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