Around 30 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that had been illegally captured in the Solomon Islands have been released back to the wild after an investigation by government fisheries officials.
For many years, the Solomons were a source of dolphins for the captivity industry and it is possible these dolphins might have been facing a similar fate. The dolphins were captured in the Western Provinces and then moved to seapens on Bungana Island.
After years of campaigning by conservation groups, the Solomons government finally banned the capture and export of dolphins in 2012. Under local laws the penalty for attempting to export dolphins can be a £500,000 fine and/or a two-year prison sentence. Earlier this year, another group of dolphins were released after being caught for possible export.