DOLPHIN monitoring group, the Earth Island Institute, had congratulated the newly established fishing company in the Western Province called Solomon Ventures Limited.The new joint venture is between the Western Provincial Government and a Philippine company Celebes Tuna Fishing Corp.
The deal was sealed last week. Mark Berman, Associate Director International Marine Mammal Project Earth Island Institute, told the Solomon Star they supported the new operations for its dolphin safe policy.
"Earth Island Institute congratulates this new venture which will create jobs in the dolphin safe tuna sector," he said.
Mr Berman said owner of the company Jerry Damalerio and his tuna fishing companies in General Santos City, Philippines, are long term strong supporters of Earth Island Institute.
"This proves that the Dolphin Safe Tuna sector will create needed jobs, not the illicit live dolphin trade found in Guadalcanal and Malaita," he said.
Mr Berman, who usually certifies tuna operations in the country, said there can be no investment in factories in these provinces as long as this dolphin trade persists.
"It is hoped the governments of Guadalcanal and Malaita will follow the excellent and progressive lead of the Western province," he said.
Berman said the new set up is a proof that dolphine Tuna growth can happen in the Solomons when it is confirmed that Western Province will continue to protect dolphins in its waters from capture and trade.
Berman who spoke with the Western Premier George Lilo recently said that dolphins are free and protected in the Western Province.
"And he (Lilo) understands and supports fully dolphin safe tuna investments," Mr Berman said.
Premier Lilo and Mr Damalerio have invited Earth Island's Lawrence Makili and Mr Berman to be closely involved in the certification process for Solomon Ventures Ltd.
BY MOFFAT MAMU
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