12 May 2015

Scientists call for monitoring of Solomons dolphin hunt

10:58 am on 12 May 2015

The South Pacific Whale Research Consortium are calling for more scientific monitoring of traditional dolphin hunting practices in Solomon Islands.

In 2010, the Earth Island Institute was able to negotiate a moratorium on the practice with dolphin hunting tribes.

But the agreement fell apart in 2013 and the ensuing hunt, which began in January, saw more than 1,500 dolphins killed in the space of a few months.

'Dolfinns' was a popular choice

More dolphins have been killed in Solomon Islands this year Photo: Photo NZ

An Associate Director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University and adjunct professor at the Auckland University, Scott Baker, was part of a team that travelled to the country in March of 2013 to scientifically document the mass dolphin hunts.

He says there is simply not enough data to guide policy and regulation of the ongoing practice.

" These are large numbers taken from coastal populations, that may well be relatively localised and so not terribly abundant. The government of the Solomon Islands has actually been very supportive of this work, but their resources are not sufficient to gather the kinds of information you would really need for an adequate management plan."