DOLPHIN TRADE HURTS SOLOMONS TUNA INDUSTRY

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Advocates say PNG enjoying ‘Dolphin Safe’ advantage

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, September 16, 2009) – Solomon Islands should learn from the Papua New Guinea Tuna Industry experience if it wants to have more foreign investment in this area.

Director for the Pacific Region's Earth Island Insitute (EII) Lawrence Makili made the statement after returning from a Tuna Congress in Port Moresby, at the weekend.

He said the eyes and ears of all tuna investors are on Solomon Islands because of its involvement in the industry.

However, Mr. Makili said during the congress most of the tuna investors have been made aware of the dolphin trading here.

He said the neighbouring PNG is practising dolphin safe campaign and so they are enjoying tuna investment.

"In PNG most of the tuna companies operates under the National Fisheries Authority (NFA)," Makili said.

"And NFA is a close associate of Earth Island Institute, therefore most of the tuna companies in PNG are dolphin safe which enables their products to be exported into the European Market," he said.

"If only our people can understand this dolphin safe campaign then we may not have problems of investors pulling out from coming to invest," he said.

Makili said the proposed plan by Dongwon of Korea to invest on Guadalcanal is also questionable.

He said the push to stop dolphin capture and trading will continue so that the country can benefit from the long term tuna investment and not these short term benefits from exports which only benefits a few.

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