1 Apr 2010

Solomon Islands dolphin exporter to free his animals

4:15 pm on 1 April 2010

A Solomon Islands marine mammal trainer and exporter says he's going to release his dolphins into the wild.

Christopher Porter attributes the decision to quit the marine mammal industry to a recent film about dolphin killing and the February drowning of another trainer by the orca Tillikum.

Mr Porter, who's exported 83 live dolphins from Solomon Islands over the past nine years, says he now realises how damaging it is for them to be kept in captivity.

"They're not getting the care in the aquariums. It's a physical fact that we as humans are separating family groups and we're deciding which animals should go where and how that should be done. And as a father it just hit me that would be the same as if I put a net into my family and took my son away and said, 'Ok son, you're going to China to represent Canadians there'."

Christopher Porter says when he began selling live dolphins in Solomon Islands they were being hunted for 20 US dollars an animal.

He says he raised the price to 160,000 US dollars for each live export, money he says he's channelled back to Solomon Islands.