Given the issue of Dolphin exportation has recently been making headlines it terms of government defending and clarifying the quota placed on dolphin export, it would be interesting for public to be educated about the revenue generated by this towards our foreign earnings.
Although it is a sovereign decision by Solomon islands to export live dolphins, the revenue is more significant to the economic sustenance of our struggling economy.
It would seem that in pursuit of live dolphin exportation, we are placing our lucrative tuna (both raw & canned) industry in jeopardy. Hence, it would be very much in the interest of the public to see how the revenue-generating capacity of live dolphin export holds up against the tuna industry.
From an economic standpoint, we all know the employment-generating capacity of the tuna industry. I believe the dolphin export sector will not match it at this current stage. However, some may also argue that live dolphin export could be a revenue earner for rural populace. This is yet to be proven - an definitely not in the context that the exporter purchase in SBD to local sellers and exports in US$ or other lucrative currencies.
The point is if both the tuna an live dolphin industries are equally high yielding from an economic standpoint then why not pursue both. However, if a more lucrative industry is imperiled by a financially less significant sector then .... the choice is also ours.
The 'Dolphin Safe' certification label now perhaps only applies to methods of tuna catching to ensure that dolphins are not ensnared. If and when 'Dolphin Safe' label includes live dolphin exportation or exploitation, then our tuna industry is doomed.
Hope to see some figures on the above from someone who is in position to do so.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Andrew and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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