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Controversial business in exporting dolphins included

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 23, 2009) – The controversial dolphin island of Gavutu in the Central Islands Province will be on sale as of next week for $50 million (US$7.2 million).

Director of Solomon Islands Mammal Marine Entertainment Centre (SIMMEC) and Marine Export Limited (MEL) Christopher Porter told the Solomon Star yesterday tenders will be out soon.

"There is still no potential buyer but once formalities are being made the tender will be issued," he said.

Mr. Porter said the sale will be done in consultation with all stakeholders and in a transparent manner.

He said the value of the property is reasonable considering the cost of a dolphin.

In the past it costs $150 per dolphin [US$21.50] but now it costs $2 million [US$287, 000] for a dolphin overseas and its a lucrative business, the Canadian said.

Porter said he’s selling the business into to move into other tourism related undertakings.

He said the price include all facilities, buildings and dolphins on the island.

Porter said proceeds from the sale will benefit the employees and his local partners and will allow him venture into tnew business.

Porter said the buyer may buy the operations based on certain conditions in which the new owner must maintain the current business and work with the local communities in community projects.

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