A FISHING company from the Philippines that plans to build a tuna factory here says it supports Earth Island Institute’s dolphin safe policy.
And it calls on the Government to assist in the dolphin issue to ensure the proposed investment comes into reality.
Frabelle Fishing Corporation has applied to build a tuna processing factory in the Tenaru area, east of Honiara.
Company owner Frannie Frabelle told the Solomon Star yesterday that while they are serious about the proposed project, they are also mindful of the dolphin safe policy.
"I would like to say that Frabelle Corporation fully supports Earth Island Institute and its dolphin safe program," Mr Frabelle said.
He added Frabelle Corporation is also working closely with the Government to start up their operation soon.
"We would like to build a tuna factory which will directly generate more than 1000 jobs,” Mr Frabelle said.
"We are serious and committed to build a factory in Guadalcanal," the owner said.
But he said their proposed investment will depend too on approval from Earth Island Institute (EII).
"We will starting construction when we get approval from the various government agencies that covers our industry, but we will be unable operate the factory until Earth Island certifies our factory and issue us a dolphin safe certificate as the world market demands this," Mr Frabelle said.
He appealed to the government to recognise the importance of the operation for future of the economy and help assist where possible.
"We are now working towards attaining this certificate for the factory and we would like to seek the assistance of the national government to look seriously into this project and do what is necessary to make this major project a reality in the near future," he said.
Earth Island director based in the United States Mark Berman echoed Mr Frabelle's call.
He said Frabelle will not complete the project if dolphins are captured and exported from Guadalcanal.
"So Guadalcanal must make a choice. The airport is in Guadalcanal, so any dolphins captured and exported from Guadalcanal province will prevent this tuna factory from opening," he said.
Mr Berman said this information must get to the public to show that a large number of new jobs are at stake, not only the jobs of tuna production, but the construction jobs and all the support jobs for such a large cannery.
He said Dong Won is waiting to see how Frabelle is able to proceed before they attempt to open a factory.
"So if the dolphin trade ends, you will have two large tuna factories operating that will employ thousands of Solomon Islanders at a very fair wage.
"The choice is the government to do what is right," Mr Berman who monitors and certifies all the dolphin safe canneries around the world, said yesterday.
By MOFFAT MAMU
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