By Maureen Nandini Mitra
A group of villagers in the Solomon Islands in Oceana captured and killed over 1,000 dolphins this week in the worst dolphin massacre in the region in recent years.
The killings occurred in two spates — the first on Monday, when 700 dolphins including about 240 calves were killed, and the second yesterday that led to the death of 300 more dolphins.
The initial slaughter triggered off a spate of news reports in Australian and New Zealand media that said that the slaughter was in protest against International Marine Mammal Project’s (IMMP) failure to pay up funds promised to the villagers to help support sustainable development without dolphin kills.
The reports relied on allegations made by Fanalei Association chairman Atkin Fakaia who claims that IMMP hadn’t paid up the full amount it had promised and that the villagers had on option but to resume killing in order to survive.
IMMP rubbishes this allegation.
It says the dolphins were killed by a break-away band of villagers from South Malaita’s Fanalei village. The rest of the people of the three villages — Fanalei, Walende, and Bitamae — that the project had reached agreement with back in 2010 were not involved in the killings, it said in a statement. (Full disclosure: IMMP is a project of Earth Island Institute, which is also the publisher of Earth Island Journal.) More....