Friday, 8 June 2007 2:50 PM

Dolphin Capture Sparks International Outrage

The capture of 20 wild dolphins in the Solomon Islands has sparked fears among environmental groups, both locally and abroad, that the government will overturn a ban on dolphin exports.

Only yesterday a local environmental activist, Lawrence Makili, warned of a possible Economic backlash should the government allow the exportation of these dolphins.

Mark Berman, whose institute approves the "Dolphin Safe" label, wrote to the Solomon Times News desk expressing his strong disapproval of the latest developments. "We are alerting groups now to pressure the government not to allow this atrocity to once again take place."

Berman said his organization was "surprised and alarmed" that the Solomons government would let a small number of dolphin dealers make huge profits at the expense of the country's reputation and the growing tuna industry.

"We strongly urge the government of Solomon Islands to immediately demand that the captured dolphins be released to the wild," he said. "Dolphin Safe tuna exports are certainly more beneficial to the people of the Solomon Islands than the export of a few live dolphins only to make a few Westerners more wealth."

Others that have written directly to the Solomon Times News desk include
- Dr Naomi Rose of the Humane Society International in the US,
- Nora Sinkankas the Director of Captive Dolphin Awareness Foundation in Bethany, Oklahoma USA,
- Judith Scott of the Marine Connection in the UK and
- Robert Baum an Environmentalist from Spain.

The message that rings loud and clear from the e-mails of these environmentalists is the fact that there are serious consequences if these dolphins leave our shores.

It is not yet clear as to the position of the government since Solomon Times has been unsuccessful in reaching the relevant authorities.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province