Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Solomons Villagers Kill 700 Dolphins Over Unpaid Agreement
Earth Island Institute says funds misused by local association

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 22, 2013) – Villagers of Fanalei in South Malaita have caught and slaughtered about 700 dolphins yesterday amidst condemnation by dolphin activists and the Earth Island Institute (EII) in the Solomon Islands.

The mass capture and slaughter was made after villagers refused to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sealed with EII; the two-year MOU expired in April last year.

Chairman of Fanalei Honiara based association Atkin Fakaia said his people resorted to their normal way of hunting dolphins after EII failed to honor the agreement.

"In the MOU, EII promised to give us SB$2.4 million [US$324,420], but they only gave us SB$700,000 [US$94,570]," Mr. Fakaia said.

He said people cannot wait because they need money to survive in the local economy.

"They go back to hunting dolphin in order to sell the dolphin teeth and meat to earn money," he said.

EII director Lawrence Makili blamed the Fanelei Honiara based association for allegedly misusing more than SB$400,000 [US$54,040] he gave towards the end of 2011 following a consensus given by people in the village.

He alleged that it was the committee that misused the funds because EII is still waiting for them to surrender their retirements.

Mr. Makili said this is the reason why EII agreed to give projects to individual families who applied rather than dishing out hard cash.

However, Makili said because the people have disobeyed and continued to hunt dolphins, EII has no option but to cut the funding.

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