Tuesday, 31 March 2009 10:01 AM

Dolphin exports: 100 annually

Received on 21 March 2009: Dear Editor, Once again the SI govt. does not examine unbiased science. It is interesting that Dr. Defran who is a US citizen claims there are no problems with these exports. He is biased in that it is known he is funded by Kerzner International, the same company that bought the 28 dolphins from SI in 2007. Kerzner is a casino owner and has huge sums of cash from his resorts.
In addition, what Defran is doing in SI , could not do in the US. There has been no dolphin capture in US since 1989. The laws of the US for marine mammals would prevent any park here from importing SI dolphins. Has Dr. Defran told the SI citizens the truth? He claims to be a professor and PhD. This is all fine, but without peer review of his findings that 100 dolphins per year to export is acceptable is an outrage.
Would the National Marine Fisheries Service or Marine Mammal Commission support Defrans science? Not at all.
Dolphin prisons in the US have been closing over the past 10 years and even the infamous Sea World is for sale.
To think in this economy when tourism is in deep declne that there is a market for the live dolphin trade as sustainable, is ludicrous.
The fact that the Minister of Environment refused to examine the documents provided by a coalition of over 20 NGOS that was provided by Earth Island, and stated that this trade must end, should tell the citizens of the SI about this government. The fact this meeting was called after I left the country should expose the true nature of this dog and pony show. This was no forum, but a method to attack Earth Island and the other NGOs which are working to truly save dolphins.
For those who think that Earth Island has no clout in the tuna industry, examine the facts of our 20 year history with the dolphin safe tuna label. Ask Mr. Don Hosokawa , the tuna consultant in the SI for Getax Australia if the new proposed cannery in Malaita must have certification of dolphin safe to export tuna. Mr. Hosokawa will tell you this is the case.
The Solomon Islands along with Japan and Russia are the only countries exploiting dolphins in the case for live trade.
Australia and New Zealand have banned this long ago for those who claim dolphins at Sea World Gold Coast are part of the trade. Once they run out of dolphins, they are out of the dolphin business.
Mexico banned the dolphin trade soon after the fiasco of the first export from SI to this country. Now 16 of those 28 are dead.
Dubai has had 5 deaths already from reports, maybe more since the govt. controls the media.
I rest my case, and the NGO community and Earth Island will continue to expose this atrocity in the Solomon Islands.
Sincerely, Mark Berman
Earth Island Institute
San Francisco, CA USA

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Mark Berman and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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