The Ministry of Fisheries in Solomon Islands has launched an investigation into the recent illegal export of live dolphins to China.
Twenty-five bottlenose dolphins were flown from Honiara to Guangdong Province last week, bound for a marine mammal park.
The dolphin exporter did not have a valid export permit.
The Acting Director of the Ministry of Fisheries, James Terry, has confirmed that the dolphins were illegally exported.
Mr Terry says it is a priority that the Fisheries Ministry resolves the issue.
"We are launching an investigation to confirm that the company did have a valid licence but they never got a permit of export from this ministry, and we didn't issue that to them."
Mr Terry says the Fisheries Ministry has put forward a draft regulation to make live dolphin exports from the Solomons illegal as of January 2012.