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Makili blasts gov’t over dolphin

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EARTH Island Institute (EII) Regional Director, Lawrence Makili has blasted the government over what he described as failure to address the killings of dolphins in the country.

He claimed this failure had resulted in major international tuna and cannery companies refusing to invest here.

“The Ministry of Fishery’s failure to finalise the Dolphin Management Plan following a scientific research conducted on dolphins is one of the examples of the government’s failure to prioritise and address the issue,” Mr Makili said.

“Solomon Islands is a country rich with tuna and a number of international tuna and cannery companies want to come and invest here.

“But they could not do so until they see for themselves that the issue of dolphins being protected is addressed.
“This is one means of boosting the nation’s economy having many international investors come in for our resources.

“However, since nothing has been done to address this issue, none of these potential investors is willing to cover over,” Mr Makili said.

Despite the purported failure by the government, Mr Makili said his organisation will continue to fight against dolphin hunting, slaughtering and slavery in the country.

Recently, more than 200 dolphins were slaughtered in Ata’a, North
East Malaita, under the pretext of traditional practise.

Mr Makili said this mass slaughter was conducted by those Earth Island has yet to work with.

“The recent dolphin hunt in the Solomon Islands was done by a community at the tip of North Malaita.

“It (Ata’a Community) is not one of the three communities that we(EII) work with.

“I do understand that it is another challenge for us to address, however it is not that easy as we would have to start all over again-conducting negotiations and so forth.

“However EII is closely monitoring the situation and must cautiously handle it,” Mr Makili said.

By Jeremy Inifiri