Sunday, October 09, 2005

People power to care for dolphins

The Queensland Government has done a backflip over dolphin feeding at Tin Can Bay in the state's south-east.

Environment Minister Desley Boyle had threatened to take the owner of a cafe to court after outlawing the feeding last week.

Hundreds of residents and tourists defied the ban this week.
Ms Boyle says "people power" has forced the Government to offer a compromise solution.
She says her department will now work with the Commonwealth and the cafe owners to monitor the dolphins' health.

"If we can get around to sorting out those details then the operation can continue, we can monitor it and make sure that it is scientifically and, in terms of safety of the dolphins, is in good order," she said.

"Hopefuly the time will come when we can give it the tick as a permanent operation.

"We'll need to have those discussions about the proper limits obviously on their operation with the cafe owner so that there can still be this amazing experience but obviously it must be reasonably controlled and managed."

Cafe owner Steve Walker says more than 100 people have been watching the feeding this morning and he is glad the Government has listened.

"We are over the moon," he said. "You've got to understand the pressure which is off Tin Can Bay as a whole.

"We've got our little icon. We've got back the right to do something so natural and pure."

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"