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Cites 2003 outrage over sale of Solomon Islands dolphins

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, December 31, 2008) – Singapore has been warned by Mexico’s Congress not to accept bottlenose dolphins exported from Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that the warning came after the recent shipment of bottlenose dolphins from the Solomons to the Philippines, which will be later transferred to Singapore, as well as another consignment due to be shipped soon.

The Chairman of the Mexican Congress, Committee of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, Senator Jorge Legorreta, wrote to the Singapore Minister for National Development, Mah Bau Tan, cautioning about the planned export.

In the letter, which was copied to the Solomons cabinet, Mr Legorreta said negative publicity surrounding the export of 28 bottlenose dolphins to Mexico from Solomon Islands in 2003 tainted his country’s reputation.

Twelve of the dolphins eventually died, which the senator described as an appalling mortality rate compared to the life of these mammals living in the wild.

He said Mexico’s experience with this single import led to its government imposing an outright ban on the import and export of live cetaceans for entertainment purposes.

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