Solomon Islands Prosecutors Amending Charges Against Operator Of Dolphin Cages

Dr Baddley Anita accused of unlawfully capturing, caging 27 dolphins  in Central Province

By Assumpta Buchanan

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 28, 2017) – Prosecution will be amending the charge against Dr Baddley Anita who is accused of unlawfully capturing and caging 27 dolphins at Mbungana, Central Islands Province.

Dr Anita appeared with his lawyer Maelyn Bird of Emerald Lawyers on Monday at the Honiara Magistrates Court.

However, his case was further adjourned to April 3rd to give prosecution time to amend particulars of the charge against Dr Anita to make it clearer for the accused to understand.

Dr Anita is expected to enter a plea during his April 3rd appearance.

The court heard yesterday that Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda will be serving the new charge sheet to Ms Bird before the next court appearance.

Currently the particulars of the charge against Dr Anita were not clear on which regulation of the Fisheries Management Act he was charged.

Dr Anita is facing one count of unlawful capturing and caging of dolphin.

He was charged contrary to section 3 of the Fisheries Management Act 2015 (Prohibition of Export of Dolphin) Regulation.

Prosecution alleged that Solmarine Mammal Breeding Company that was owned by Dr Anita unlawfully captured and caged 27 dolphins at Mbungana.

Police alleged that the existence of this activity came to light when the Western Province based fisheries officers were informed on a similar operation linked to the Mbungana Facility occurred at Tafuna Village in Kolombangara.

It was alleged that Tafuna operation was conducted as a supplier to the Solmarine operated facility in Mbungana Island.

Prosecution alleged the banning on the capture and holding of dolphin for export or sale as stipulated in the Fishery Management Act 2015 (Prohibition of export of Dolphin) regulation 2013 remains in force with no alterations.

They further alleged that Dr Anita breached this Act for not complying with the above regulation and that there was no approval of licence given by the Director of Fisheries to Solmarine Company to operate such business.

It was also alleged that licencing unit within the Ministry of Fisheries confirmed no issuance of licence to Dr Anita’s company.

According to the investigation, Cities export permit was issued to Solmarine Company for export purposes without proper consultation with the Ministry of Fisheries, thus contradicts the Fisheries Act 2015.

The captured dolphins that were kept in floating cages were released from Mbungana holding facility by a joint operation consists of fisheries compliance officers and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) on 29 October 2016.

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