Solomon Islands villagers kill 900 dolphins in conservation dispute

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“WTF…this is just an appalling injustice; it’s a bloody tragedy to the sentient dolphins & setback for all those who try to protect them. Have people lost the use of their voices? Couldn’t they have sat down & discussed this issue like grown adults; before going off & slaughtering up to 900 innocent dolphins. I’m sickened by this barbaric act…which as always…comes down to money & greed!”

“Read more at the links below, watch a video & please also sign the petition!”

Islanders claim Berkely-based Earth Island Institute failed to fulfill deal to pay $400,000 to stop hunt.

Villagers in the Solomon Islands have slaughtered up to 900 dolphins in the course of a dispute with a conservation group, Earth Island Institute.

Accounts of the dispute vary. The islanders say the Berkeley-based conservation group failed to pay them, as agreed, for stopping the traditional hunt. Earth Island says the slaughter was the work of a “renegade group” trying to sabotage conservation work.

What is clear, however, is that a misunderstanding between the villagers and Earth Island has resulted in one of the worst cases of dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands for some time, and delivered a huge setback to conservation efforts in a world “hot spot” for the dolphin trade.

The Solomon Islands were notorious among conservationists as a source of live dolphins for sea aquariums in China and Dubai. A captive dolphin sells for up to $150,000.

“We are very very disappointed,” said David Phillips, who oversees international dolphin protection efforts for Earth Island. “This is a tragedy. It’s bad for dolphins. It’s bad for the community. It’s bad for the Solomon Islands as a nation to have this blot on the record.”

Earth Island had been working with islanders of Malaita for two years to try to stop the hunt. The islanders’ account, which was aired by Australian broadcasting, accused the conservation group of failing to live up to a deal to pay up to $400,000 to people in the village of Fanalei, to stop the dolphin hunt. The villagers said they received barely a third of the promised funds before the money dried up.

Atkin Fakaia, a community leader now living in the capital, Honiara, told Radio Australia the disillusioned Fanalei villagers had gone back to hunting when the money did not come in.

“The issue of them going back fishing for and killing dolphins was on the understanding that Earth Island had been reluctant to pay the agreed amount that was due to the community,” he said. “They were just disappointed and dissatisfied over the attitude of Earth Island.”

The Solomon Islands were notorious among conservationists as a source of live dolphins for sea aquariums in China and Dubai. Photograph: Robin Moore/NGS/Corbis

Phillips said the causes of the dispute were far more complicated – although he did not dispute the charge villagers in Fanalei had not seen the money they were expecting. Under the agreement, funds were supposed to be paid out as small grants for community projects in the village, and for income generating efforts. However, Phillips said villagers living in the capital had seized control of the funds, and had not distributed the money.

“The renegade group grabbed funds that were supposed to go to the community and that resulted in a lot of the discord,” he said. “In our view there are proper charges of corruption in what has happened in the community.

Phillips said the conservation group was still working with two other villages on the island, and hoped to resolve the dispute with the people of Fanalei. Fakaia told Australia radio the dispute would now likely end up in court.

News Link:-

Read part of the interview broadcast on Australian Radio;  Speakers: Lawrence Makili, The Director of the Earth Island Institute; Atkin Fakaia, Chairman of the Fanalei Honiara Association

Traditionally the animals are used to provide meat and income for the village, with the men also using the mammal’s teeth to pay a bride’s price.

For the past two years, that village, as well as other villages on Malaita have been parties to a Memorandum of Understanding with the Conservation group the Earth Island Institute, which provides funding to develop other income producing projects, in return for the villages not hunting dolphins.

But now that MOU appears to be have been scrapped.

FAKAIA: The issue of them going back fishing for and killing dolphins, was on the understanding that Earth Island has reluctant to pay the agreed amount that was due to the community and so they just felt as if they was just disappointed and dissatisfied over the attitude of Earth Island.

The Director of the Institute, Lawrence Makili has disputed the villager’s version of events leading up to the slaughter.

MAKILI: The communities use that as an excuse to have a reason for them to do what they were doing. Our institute has played their part by providing small grants to the communities for them to set up small income-generation projects. Within the two years term, we first gave out some money to the community which was 300-thousand dollars SPD, that is Solomon Island dollars , and during the distribution of the funds to the government to individual members of individual families.

The strategy that they set up in the community for the distribution of funds was not happy by other members of the community and we also went back to the community and had some sort of, discuss with them and they do agree that the funds should be channelled to the Fanalei people based in Honiara, in the city, but that second can’t say that we gave it to them is worth about 400-thousand SPD dollars, Solomon Island dollars, and that money never reached the community. It was sink in Honiara by their own community members that, who were given the trustee for them.

Listen to or read the full broadcast about the slaughter & the international outrage:

Please sign this petition:-

Dolphin Massacre in Solomon Islands 2009 (this shows how they are captured not slaughtered)

Uploaded on 23 Sep 2009

Dolphin Massacre in Solomon Islands

Sparta family wrongly accused of animal abuse in case of terminally ill Mastiff

Comments Off on Sparta family wrongly accused of animal abuse in case of terminally ill Mastiff

When 8-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff Zoey was diagnosed in April with inoperable terminal kidney failure, her guardians, Roni and Elysia Amiel, made the difficult decision to keep her home to be surrounded by love and family in her final days.

Terminally ill Zoey, mistaken for abused

Zoey’s physical condition worsened rapidly and she lost a considerable amount of weight.

When a neighbour saw Zoey resting in the grass next to a lake near the Amiel’s house in June, the neighbour photographed her and called police, who dispatched animal control.

Upon finding the emaciated and weak Zoey with no collar or tags, the animal control officer took her to a local animal hospital for assessment and treatment.

Devastatingly, the neighbour was unaware of who owned the dog, and Zoey was euthanized due to her poor health.

In the meantime, the photo of Zoey went viral online, and the Amiels are still enduring threats and harassment from hundreds of people who wrongly assume they’d neglected their dog.

They’re suffering from stress and fear over this treatment.

The animal control officer, after an investigation with the ASPCA, determined no abuse on the part of the Amiels. Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe and vet records confirmed there were no medical options to save Zoey’s life.

A statement was issued from the police department yesterday in an effort to clear the Amiels of any wrongdoing:

“The Sparta Police Department has issued this news release as one means to correct a total misrepresentation of the circumstances surrounding the physical condition of this dog. This misrepresentation has led to the Amiel family being victimized, harassed and threatened by hundreds if not thousands of social network subscribers.”

A terrible misunderstanding took the life of this dog, robbed her family of a proper goodbye, and caused unjust harassment and threats against them.

The Department’s Detective Bureau is deciding if criminal harassment charges should be filed.

Our deepest condolences to the Amiels for losing their beloved Zoey. Word travels fast about abuse, and we’re hoping the truth of their innocence travels just as quickly.

News Link:


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