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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 22) – The Solomon Islands government is lifting its ban on the controversial export of live dolphins, Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme has reported.

Fisheries Minister Nollen Leni told Pacific Beat he doesn’t understand why other nations are criticising the Solomons for its decision.

The High Court has ruled that a ban placed two years ago is illegal, he said.

The lifting of the ban is being criticised by local and international conservation organisations, Radio Australia said.

The ban had been imposed due to international protests over the export of Solomons dolphins to an aquatic park in Mexico.

This was done by Solomon Islands Marine Mammal Education Centre, headed by Canadian Christopher Porter.

Mr Leni told Pacific Beat:" We have many fishing companies in the world who use nets and they kill so many hundreds and thousands of dolphins. In our case we do not kill the dolphins. We are exporting live dolphins to another location for purposes of used to entertain tourism and development in those countries. Again there are countries at the moment that are doing trading and exporting of dolphins. I was putting a point across to those who made criticisms on our action as to how they pick on us our tiny island countries, while there are also major countries who are doing the same thing."

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