Ocean Park has halted controversial plans to fund a study that might have led to it importing dozens of bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands. Conservationists criticised the theme park last year when it emerged that it was to fund a US$100,000 government study in the islands that would lead to the import of wild-captured dolphins if the population was found to be sustainable. Suzanne Gendron, the park's executive director, said the funding had been withheld and the plan put on hold because of a change of government in the Solomons in August. Gendron also said the previous government had discussed importing 50 dolphins to Hong Kong depending on the study results, but that she had not been convinced the population in the wild was sustainable. Dolphins sell for upwards of US$100,000 each. Gendron had gone with colleagues to check the dolphin numbers before agreeing to fund the sustainability study. 'When I was there and looked around, I didn't see very many dolphins. I didn't think there was a sustainable number. 'Their science isn't in yet ... I didn't see the numbers to make me feel comfortable even thinking about taking any animals there,' she said. 'I've been down two or three times and I've been out on a boat to look. I've seen three aduncus (the type of bottlenose Ocean Park wants to import) as opposed to large numbers of spinners (another bottlenose variety). We looked at each other and I said, 'I don't feel comfortable doing this'.' Despite her reservations, Gendron said the sustainability survey would go ahead for its conservation value when the new government had settled in. 'I still believe it's an important place to have some information from, not ... because I have to have an animal out of there, but [because] that population is under pressure internally. It's an important place to conduct research.'