Solomon Islands Dolphin Captures
The Solomon Islands, located east of Papua New Guinea, have been the site of wild dolphin hunts for many centuries, responsible for an estimated 2000 dolphins slaughtered each year for food. As a seafaring people, the Islanders traditionally relied on certain species of dolphins for their teeth, which were used as currency, as well as for their meat.
However, in 2010, Ric O’Barry and the Dolphin Project team, led by islander Lawrence Makili and Earth Island’s Mark Berman successfully stopped these hunts by working closely with local communities and committing to providing alternatives to the hunts – by providing them with funding and support to develop sustainable fisheries and agriculture, water sources and solar power, and support schooling for village youth.
Despite this incredible success, the Solomon Islands remain a major exporter of live dolphins to dolphinariums around the world. Beginning in the early 2000s, international dolphin traffickers arrived on the scene, capitalizing on the low incomes of the Islanders and the proliferation of dolphins within their waters. These traffickers, joined by local entrepreneurs with ties to the government, were successful in establishing and maintaining a profitable live dolphin trade.
For years, Earth Island’s Dolphin Project has worked to end the trade in live dolphins, succeeding in stalling some captures.
The government of the Solomon Islands, despite having joined CITES in 2007, continues to sanction the unsustainable captures, although they have recently indicated that they plan to put an end to these in 2012. As a final gift to dolphin traffickers, the government will allow up to 50 more captures and sales of live dolphins through the end of the year.
We need help to block the sale of dolphins from the Solomon Islands to China. Please send an e-mail to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Danny Philip at firstname.lastname@example.org
Captivity is cruel. Take the pledge not to buy a ticket to a dolphin show by clicking HERE.
Visit the Solomon Islands website HERE to learn more about what you can do.