Dolphin killing spree – villagers refuse to withdraw despite worldwide condemnation

MALITA. SOLOMON IS: A dispute among the people of the village of Fanalei on the island of Malaita in the Soloman Islands and authorities that led to mass slaughtering of about a thousand dolphins up to this week is now being globally criticised by environmentalists and conservationists.

Mark Palmer, EII’s associate director of the International Marine Mammal Project, labeled the Fanalei villagers in an email to the Huffington Post as “disparate group” who broke from consensus.

Mr Palmer said that the Solomon Islanders can earn up to $150,000 USD for capturing wild dolphins and selling them to aquariums in China, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.

Solomon Times Star reported that the dolphin slaughter came after a renewal of a memorandum of understanding with EII that expired in April 2012 was refused by the villagers.

It says that $2.4 million Solomon Island dollars (about $335,000 US) was promised for the villagers so they stop trading dolphins and dolphin-derived products for two years but they were only given $700,000.

Some seafaring Solomon Islanders like people on the island of Malaita, have traditions of hunting dolphins for their teeth as precious commodity for currency and bridal dowries.

The Solomon Star understands the community is in their hunting period which often takes three months. The traditional hunting practice is carried out once a year for three month, from January to March. The current hunting period is expected to continue until March.

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