Hunting dolphins by locals in some areas of Solomon Islands are traditional. They used dolphins teeth as a form of currency. They also export live dolphins to overseas marine aquatic parks.
Tourism plays a very vital role in Solomonʻs income revenue and dolphins help to attract tourists from different parts of the world especially New Zealand and Australia. There is a very deep concern from the Tourism Minister Samuel Manetoali about Solomon’s international reputation after this narrow minded action of the villagers.
It has been reported last month about the killings of over 700 dolphins by the locals of the village of Fanalei. It was told by the localʻs spokesperson the action is a protest against the US-based conservative group (Earth Island Institute). The Earth Island Institute failed to keep their promise of funding the locals for about over $2millions. The locals claimed to only receive just over 700,000 dollars. Tourism Minister Samuel Manetoali did not want to comment about that controversy between the villagers and the activists group.
The Earth Island Institute has denied neither any wrong doings nor breaking the agreement with the villagers. The killings as they claimed were happened as a support to tribal chief traditional.
“This has given us so much bad press overseas it is impacting our tourism market, especially from Australia and New Zealand,” Manateoali told AFP, adding that he planned to travel to Fanalei for discussions with tribal chiefs.
This type of transection especially from traditional practises to modernisation is always hard to implement. It will take time and efforts, as Mr Manetoali emphasised.
He said, “Whatever we discuss and agree to have to be a win-win situation for the country as a whole and the communities concerned.”