Tuesday, 23 October 2007 9:54 AM

Dolphins Arrive Safely in Dubai

After 30 hours of transport time, all 28 dolphins from Solomon Islands arrived safely to one of the world's largest resorts, The Palm Atlantis in Dubai.

Managing Director, Chris Porter, of Marine Exports Limited, the Solomon Islands Company that exported the dolphins, said in a statement that, "It is not only a great day for the company it is also a great day for Solomon Islands. We have created successful trade between one of the wealthiest countries in the world and one of the poorest South Pacific Nations."

Porter also said that Solomon Islanders should be proud that their natural resource has become a paramount feature to an incredible resort development. Porter continues to insist that what he is offering is an alternative for dolphins in a country with a rich tradition of killing the animals for their meat and their teeth, which are cherished ceremonial objects.

Earth Island Institute, a San Francisco based environmental group, failed in a bid to stop the shipment through an injunction from the High Court of Solomon Islands on the basis that the transport and operation meets all National and International legal requirements.

Porter has pointed out that CITES, the international body that regulates the global trade of endangered plants and animals, said this week that "it had no reason to stop the shipment and no proof that Porter's company was harming dolphin populations in the Solomons."

Secretary-general, Willem Wijnstekers, said in a statement issued this week that "in relation to trade in live dolphins, the Secretariat has not been presented with any evidence which demonstrates that non-detriment findings are not being adequately made before exports are authorized." The statement went on to say that it has received no evidence to demonstrate that trade which is now taking place, or is intended to take place, will have a detrimental impact upon wild dolphin populations.

Porter said that the dolphins' new habitat will be on Dubai's palm tree-shaped island complex, to be called Dolphin Bay. "The animals will be part of an interactive educational program for resort guests and it will be the largest man-made, open-air dolphin habitat in the world, designed to provide the dolphins' exceptional quality of life in the 11-acre lagoon," said Porter.

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