2 Apr 2010

Zoological organisation queries planned Solomon Islands dolphin release

4:08 pm on 2 April 2010

An American marine life education, conservation and display organisation, Ocean Embassy, is querying the sincerity behind the planned release of 17 dolphins by a Solomon Islands exporter of the mammals.

This comes as Christopher 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.

Mr Porter attributes the decision to quit a 21-year career in the marine mammal industry to a recent film about dolphin killing and the February drowning of another trainer by the orca, Tillikum.

Ocean Embassy's executive vice president says the company's worked with Mr Porter for several years and helped him export dolphins to Dubai in 2007.

Mark Simmons says Mr Porter's more interested in making money than caring for dolphins.

"We had to go in in 2005 and send in a triage team to basically respond to almost 30 animals that Chris had essentially starved to death. We were able to save 24 of them but six perished and these were animals that were so emaciated they were castabolic, they were beyond help."

Ocean Embassy's executive vice president, Mark Simmons.