22 Oct 2007

Solomons Fisheries Minister hails arrival of exported dolphins in Dubai

2:33 pm on 22 October 2007

The Solomon Islands Fisheries Minister says the air transport of 28 dolphins from Honiara to Dubai proves his government is capable of safely exporting the mammals.

The export took place last week despite protests from environmental groups and threats of an international boycott of Solomons tuna products.

But the Minister, Nollen Leni, has defended the exports and accused animal welfare groups of trying to block the country tapping into a lucrative industry.

"Well yes, the dolphins all arrived safely, no casualties. I think our medical recommendations were perfect. With the distance that had been covered during the flight to transport these mammals to Dubai, proved that we are capable of transporting the mammals safely to anywhere in the world if we were ever to make anymore exports of dolphins."

Nollen Leni

The dolphins' new habitat is in a large lagoon called Dolphin Bay on an artificially created palm tree-shaped island complex.