HONIARA: The Solomon Islands today urged villagers to stop the mass slaughter of dolphins, saying the traditional practice was damaging the Pacific nation’s tourism industry.
Locals in the village of Fanalei killed about 750 dolphins last month, saying they acted after US-based conservation group the Earth Island Institute failed to provide funds promised under a 2010 agreement to stop the cull.
Tourism Minister Samuel Manetoali declined to comment on the row between the villagers and the conservationists but said he wanted the killings to stop because they were harming the Solomons’ international reputation.
Dolphin hunts are traditional in areas of the Solomons, where their teeth have long been used as a form of currency.
In recent years, villagers have also captured live dolphins and exported them to marine entertainment parks.