At the end of 2012 and the beginning of this year, hundreds of wild dolphins in the Solomon Islands were slaughtered. Local people living in the the village of Fanalei were reportedly responsible. Dolphin teeth have been traditionally used there as a form of currency, and their body parts for food, but a US conservation group was making an attempt to stop the dolphin cull by making financial payments. However, the group was unable to make all the payments as arranged so up to 1,000 dolphins were killed.
Live dolphins have also been captured to sell to marine parks, where they are used as entertainment. Some people defend using captive dolphins as a form of public education, but too often dolphin shows seem much more about tricks to entertain audiences in order to profit financially.
A more recent development related to the situation is public opposition to the dolphin cull coming from a well-known panpipe musical group called Narasirato, which means ‘crying for sunshine’.
If you are unfamiliar with this type of music, you can listen to it in the video below.
Narasirato composes music that has Nature-appreciation and environmental conservation themes. (Some of their local villages have already been damaged by rising seas, due to climate change.)
The dolphin slaughter there resulted in so much negative press, their tourism industry was damaged – particularly due to less tourists from New Zealand and Australia.
Some have blamed the Earth Island Institute for stopping their payments, but others have said the culpability lies with a renegade group of villagers who violated the agreement between the conservation group and local tribes. The agreement was made to accept payments for preserving the dolphins, but the renegades went ahead with the dolphin slaughter on their own.