Illegally-Caught Dolphins in the Solomon Islands Set Free

Twenty-seven illegally-caught dolphins in the Solomon Islands have been set free – the result of a joint effort between Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Compliance Officers and the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force. According to a report by 

A few days earlier, a similar raid was conducted at Kolombangara Island in the Western Province and a number of dolphins were released back into the open ocean.

Dolphin Project applauds the local authorities as well as the Ministry of Fisheries for enforcing the Fisheries Management Act. Our team in the Solomon’s will continue to work  to permanently end the export and slaughter of dolphins. We are making incredible progress.” ~ Lincoln O’Barry

Despite joining CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 2007, the Solomon Islands announced that it would sanction the unsustainable capture and export of 100 dolphins per year. Several dolphin capture outfits have subsequently sprung up and more exports are taking place. Both the Solomon Islands and Taiji – known for slaughtering dolphins via drive fisheries – have been targeted by the captive marine mammal industry. The ‘Animal Planet’s’ Blood Dolphin$ detailed in depth how Solomon Island dolphins were exploited for profit.

Dolphin Project has maintained a presence in the Solomon Islands with a recent emphasis on Fanalei Island for several years. We’re using grassroots community development to transition island life away from hunting dolphin for teeth, meat, and cash. Through providing self-sufficient programs, the Dolphin Project is offering Fanalei a chance to seek alternatives to profiting off dolphin.

Dolphin Project using Virtual Reality to educate villagers about dolphins.

Dolphin Project using Virtual Reality to educate Solomon villagers about dolphins.

We’re already seeing change on Fanalei as perceptions evolve. The number of dolphins killed has dropped from 800 animals yearly, to less than fifty. Lead hunters are starting to recognize the dolphins as sentient beings while science is helping them to learn about the complexities of dolphin brains. As a result, some hunters are now open to altering cultural tradition and even ceasing the hunt altogether.

Dolphin Project's Lincoln O'Barry in Fanalei, Solomon Islands.

Dolphin Project’s Lincoln O’Barry in Fanalei, Solomon Islands.

Sources used in this blog:

Dolphins Freed, The Island Sun
Dolphin Caging, Solomon Star

Learn about the more about dolphins in the Solomon Islands.

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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands
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