29 Aug 2007

Soltai concerned about Solomons move to resume dolphin exports

3:13 pm on 29 August 2007

The general manager of Soltai Fishing in Solomon Islands says he plans to raise with the Fisheries Minister his decision to allow the exports of live dolphins.

The Minister, Nollen Leni, advised that exports could resume after being given assurances from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES.

CITES aim is to ensure that the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The government says it complies with all the requirements and was assured by CITES it is fine to resume exporting.

However, the general manager of Soltai Fishing, Milton Sibisopere, says the government's move could harm the country's tuna industry because consumers won't take CITES decision into account when buying tuna products.

"Our customers, our buyers, say, never mind the convention, and if they turn around said that we are not going to buy your products then the people that are going to be directly affected , are Solomon Islands itself."

Milton Sibisopere says the Fisheries Ministry should think carefully and consider the possible negative impact.