By 3 News online staff
Solomon Islanders have killed hundreds of bottlenose dolphins, saying they have had to resort to slaughter after an environmental charity stopped its payments to their village.
The Solomon Star reports that around 700 dolphins have been killed off the island of South Malaita by locals who claim the Earth Island Institute (EII) has only paid them S$700,000 (NZ$116,000) of a promised $2.4m ($396,000).
The payment was to be in exchange for not killing the dolphins, which are a source of income for Fanalei villagers.
“They go back to hunting dolphin in order to sell the dolphin teeth and meat to earn money,” Fanalei Association chairman Atkin Fakaia told Solomon Star.
EII says it stopped payments because the village misused $400,000 ($66,000) it was given at the end of 2011. It believes much of the money ended up in the hands of villagers now living and working in the capital Honiara.
The organisation says villagers continued to hunt dolphins despite receiving payments, so it had no option but to cut funding.