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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

17 July 2003

Kemp Acts to Stop Illegal Trade in Dolphin


The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced that he has acted to stop the illegal trade of dolphins from the Solomon Islands to Mexico.

"There have been recently a number of reports that dolphins have been caught in the Solomon Islands and are being kept in pens awaiting export to Mexico," Dr Kemp said.

"The Australian Government is gravely concerned by these reports and once they were bought to our attention we requested our diplomatic post in Mexico to make urgent representations to the Mexican Government that they act immediately to stop the import of the dolphins.

"As a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) Mexico is obliged to prohibit the import of species listed in the Convention unless there is an appropriate permit and the trade will be non detrimental to the species.

"We are also communicating our concern to the Solomon Islands, however we believe that on ground action in the Solomon Islands to prevent the export may be difficult in light of that country's current situation.

"Australia and Mexico are close allies in the International Whaling Commission and we believe that we can encourage Mexico not to import the dolphins," Dr Kemp said.

Australia has been a Party to CITES since 1976.

Commonwealth of Australia