26 Jul 2012

Malaitan people negotiate continuation of dolphin moratorium

6:11 pm on 26 July 2012

Negotiations around the renewal of a lapsed moratorium on killing dolphins in Solomon Islands are underway.

The chief of Fanalei in south Malaita says his six tribes signed a memorandum of understanding in 2010 with Earth Island Institute, which acts to protect dolphins, not to hunt the mammals for a two-year period.

Wilson Filei says they signed the agreement, which lapsed in April, in return for funding but they're still waiting for the third tranche of that money.

He says his people use dolphin teeth for the bride price custom and it is a big part of their cultural traditions.

"Maybe it will be OK if the Earth Island give us a chance so that we can hunt for another two years, so that we can keep the tooth as a souvenir or as a form of memory, then we can sign or review the MOU again."

However Wilson Filei says it is his people who will determine whether to renew the agreement.