15 Apr 2010

Solomon Islands villagers and a trader agree to stop harvesting dolphins

10:57 am on 15 April 2010

A group of Solomon Islands villagers and a notorious dolphin trader have agreed to stop hunting and harvesting dolphins for the lucrative international dolphin trade.

The Solomons began selling bottlenose dolphins in 2003 but since then it's came under fire over the legality and sustainability of the trade, along with concerns for the captured animals' welfare.

In 2007, 28 Solomons' dolphins were sent to a Dubai resort amid protests from environment groups and criticisms from the Australian and New Zealand governments.

Last week, the Fanalei and Walande communities in south Malaita, Malaita province, ended hundreds of years of tradition by signing an agreement to stop dolphin harvesting for two years.

The announcement came as Canadian Chris Porter, a notorious dolphin trader, said he now wanted to release Solomons dolphins rather than sell them.

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported the change of heart came after a whale he trained recently killed a female SeaWorld trainer in Florida.