31 Aug 2009

Solomon Islands environmentalist says dolphin trade hurting tuna industry

6:22 am on 31 August 2009

A Solomon Islands environmentalist says the government's stance on the live dolphin trade is preventing it gaining lucrative tuna contracts.

The organisation Earth Island Institute claims the Solomon Islands government is about to send another batch of live dolphins overseas.

Despite denials by the government the institute's Lawrence Makili maintains 30 dolphins are being held in pens, with 18 to be sent to Panama.

Mr Makili says Earth Island will not certify Solomon Islands tuna as dolphin friendly, which is turning away international investors.

"There were two Asian companies that wished to establish tuna factories in the Solomon Islands, one from Philippines and the other one from Korea. These investors had advised the national government that we cannot come and establish, cannot invest in the Solomon Islands until you deal with the dolphin issue"