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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dolphin calling project in North Malaita to be revived soon by PITIC in Australia

by Robert L. Iroga in Sydney

The Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission (PITIC) in Australia is optimistic to revive a dolphin calling project in Malaita, which was aborted because of the riots last year.

The PITIC Office Manager Coordinator-Tourism and Information Service Unit, Ruth Choulai, said the project is very unique and she would like to see it started soon.

The northern region of Malaita is being earmarked for the project which PITIC believes will generate huge income to the people there with the injection of much needed foreign currency into the economy.

The plan was put on hold because of the recent problems in the country and PITIC is waiting patiently for the government’s response.

Ms Choulai said the project was initiated after Solomon Islanders exported life dolphins to Mexico. The export had attracted world wide condemnation especially from animal rights movements.

Ms Choulai said instead of sending the dolphins abroad Solomon Islanders could attract tourists to actually see dolphins-which are called then released back into the wild.

“I believe that Westerners would like to see animals in the wild and be able to see them being called is awesome,” she said.

In doing that, Ms Choulai said they will be able to add value to the dollar, as money will get out to the community, stops rural to urban migration and helps to keep the practice alive.

The northern and southern parts of Malaita are traditionally known for dolphin hunting which is part of their traditional and religious belief.

Source: Solomon Star

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