Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dolphin Release by 'Free the Pod'

Porter to release dolphins into wild

AFTER about eight years of exporting dolphins, local dealer Chris Porter has surprisingly announced his plans to free 17 remaining dolphins at his Gavutu dolphin pen.

The dolphins, he said, are worth over $40 million (US$5 million).

Mr Porter told the Solomon Star this is something which was never done before and it’s time the remaining dolphins are released.

“I am continually surprised and dismayed to see that the world cannot come on agreement with the utilisation of the earth’s common resources,” Mr Porter said.

"The recent activities between Australia, New Zealand and Japan have brought me to the realisation that export of dolphins holds the same political turmoil as whaling.

"We must as humans be able to come to an agreement that we can all uphold.

"No one country’s desires should conquer another,” he said.

The release of the remaining 17 dolphins will be done under a joint campaign called 'Free the Pod' .

He explained 'Free the Pod' will be a consortium of conservation groups, animal welfare groups and other interested parties involved in the proper and scientific release of the dolphins from their current home at Gavutu island.

Mr Porter has invited Earth Island Institute (EII), which had been critical all along about dolphin export to witness the release of the dolphins.

“Our first invitation in joining this consortium to the mammals is to Earth Island Institute, despite their opposition to us in the past," he said.

Mr Porter said it’s time for groups dedicated to the welfare of dolphins and whales to work hand in hand in order to come up with a umbrella approach of management.

He said the release campaign is the first step to the National Aquarium proposal that he made at the beginning of this year.

National Aquarium

Mr Porter said the National Aquarium plan is based on a number of satellite offices around the Solomon Islands provides an immense resource and education value to the grassroots.

His proposal is a conservation approach to accepting that the Solomon Islands is by itself the World’s Largest Aquarium.

“Free the Dolphins back into the “National Aquarium” assures that the integration and management of this large resources is preserved.

“By managing the Solomon Islands as if itself is the World’s Largest Aquarium, we will assure that the resource value and conservation benefits are preserved.

“As long as too many are fishing inside the aquarium, the future benefits are limited.”

But Earth Island Institute (EII) objects to the aquarium style of conservation approach that Mr Porter is proposing.

Early last month director Mark Berman stated the National Aquarium approach would be a total end to any tuna investment in the Solomon Islands.

But Mr Porter challenges Earth Island: “Earth Island has continually denied the right of Solomon Islanders to utilise their natural resources based on the

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