There has been sad news from Solomon Islands this past long weekend. The Sunday International Herald Tribune included an article, by Emma O'Brien, headed, "Plan to export dolphins raising activists' anger; Solomon Islands has little else to sell." (Pg 13.)
"The Solomon Islands has lifted a four-year ban on the trade of live dolphins and may allow more than 100 to be exported each year because of demand from tourist resorts and marine parks in places like the United Arab Emirates."
"The Solomons banned the trade in 2003 after protests by environmental groups as well as Australia and New Zealand. Before the ban, sales were limited to 100 dolphins a year.
"The Solomon Islands is dependent on agriculture, fishing and forestry with many of its 566,000 residents living a subsistence lifestyle in remote settlements scattered throughout the archipelago."
The article discusses the poverty of the country and notes that the prime minister is " assessing how much the exports will add to the economy, with live dolphins fetching tens of thousands of dollars each."
We are reminded of news stories from a few years ago about the Solomon Island exports:
"Before the ban, dolphins that were bound for export were held in crowded, shallow pens without adequate food and in direct exposure to the sun, said Imogen Scott, a spokeswoman for the International Federation for Animal Welfare. Sending the last shipment involved a 17-hour flight to Mexico, where they were put in an ocean-based mesh pen with another subspecies, increasing the risk of disease."
Chris Howe, the New Zealand director of the environmental group WWF is quoted:
''Moving marine animals around the world is a crazy and appalling idea. It'd be better for the Solomon Islands government to develop more sustainable ways of developing their economy rather than exporting live mammals.''
The find the full article on line at http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/31/business/flipper.php
It opens the door for letters on the capture of wild animals for human entertainment. The International Herald Tribune takes letters at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Remember that shorter letters are more likely to be published.
Yours and the animals',
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)
To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php
You are subscribed to DawnWatch using the following address:
Date: Mon Sep 3 21:20:56 2007