Whilst most media attention is focused on the hunts in Taiji, Japan, the huge numbers of dolphins killed in the Solomon Islands continues with report now emerging that suggest that over 1000 may have been slaughtered in the past year by villagers on the island of Malaita. This horrific news comes shortly after 350 dolphins were slaughtered on the nearby village of Fanalei. Although the prime minister has recently stated that they are against the additional export of dolphins, he reaffirmed his support for the dolphin hunts, citing their cultural significance to villagers.
The remoteness and inaccessibility of these hunts makes monitoring them difficult and it is still unclear how the villagers kill the dolphins in the Solomon Islands. Around 700 are killed per year, primarily in three or four villages on the Islands of Malaita, including Fanalei, Walande, Bita’ama, and Ata’a. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are often caught for live trade, whereas spinner and spotted dolphins are killed for meat and teeth (used as currency and dowry).