2016: What A Year It Was!

As 2016 comes to a close, I am filled with a sense of hope. This year, we have done much to build awareness about the suffering of dolphins, and have witnessed real and positive changes through global outreach efforts. Dolphin Project has been involved in crucial projects and campaigns in Japan, UK, Indonesia, Netherlands, the Solomon Islands, Mexico, Germany, Greece and the United States in our efforts towards ending dolphin abuse.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project Returns to The Cove

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project Returns to The Cove, Taiji, Japan
Credit: DolphinProject.com


Dolphin Project Global Ambassador and Game of Thrones Star Maisie Williams visits Taiji, Japan

Dolphin Project Global Ambassador and Game of Thrones Star Maisie Williams visits Taiji, Japan
Credit: DolphinProject.com

Dolphin Project returned to “The Cove” in Taiji, Japan where our team will be on the ground for the entire six-month killing season, using Live Streaming technology to document the dolphin drive hunts. This is Dolphin Project’s 14th season in Taiji. Earlier this month, Dolphin Project Global Ambassador and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams traveled to Taiji in support of our campaign, attracting international media attention.

Ric O’Barry attended a demonstration in London for Japan Dolphins Day. Over 50 events were held across the globe on this international day of action for dolphins. In London, Dolphin Project projected text onto the Japanese embassy, pressuring Japan to stop killing dolphins.

Text projected on the Japanese embassy in London protesting dolphin hunts

Text projected onto the Japanese embassy in London protesting dolphin hunts
Credit: DolphinProject.com

Dolphin Project worked with Danish animal welfare organization, “Anima,” releasing a PSA designed to put pressure on travel agencies around the world to stop sending tourists to dolphin shows. One month after its release, over 20 tour operators in Denmark ended their support of dolphinariums.


Lincoln O’Barry visited Indonesia to work on our campaigns including putting an end to dolphin-swim programs, putting an end to traveling road shows and renovating Camp LumbaLumba, the world’s first permanent dolphin halfway house (to prepare candidate animals for eventual re-release into the wild). Dolphin Project also launched a new advertising campaign across Indonesia, including graffiti and wall murals, emphasizing the message: “Don’t Buy A Ticket to a Dolphin Show.”

Lincoln O’Barry and Dr. Sarah Meltzoff returned to Fanalei, in the Solomon Islands to help dolphin hunting tribes transition away from their centuries-old drive slaughter, including building a kindergarten to educate 65 children as well as committing to pay teachers wages for two years.

Dolphin Project using Virtual Reality to educate villagers about dolphins. Credit: DolphinProject.com

Dolphin Project using Virtual Reality to educate villagers about dolphins.
Credit: DolphinProject.com

Two previously captive bottlenose dolphins, rehabilitated in 2013 by the Korean Animal Welfare Association using “Dolphin Project’s Protocol for Releasing Captive Dolphins” and Ric’s consultation, were seen with calves in the waters off the South Korean island of Jeju.

Ric O’Barry traveled to Greece to investigate potential sites for a permanent retirement home for previously captive marine mammals.

Ric O'Barry addresses Dutch Parliament on Dolphin Captivity

Ric O’Barry addresses Dutch Parliament on Dolphin Captivity

Ric O’Barry addressed members of the Dutch Parliament in The Hague, Netherlands, calling for the captivity of dolphins and other whales to be abolished. His itinerary also included a major media appearance and demonstration.

Bottlenose dolphins in the wild, Florida

Bottlenose dolphins frolicking in the wild.
Photo credit: Gwen McKenna

We have many exciting initiatives planned for 2017, but they are only achievable with your help. We are completely funded by you. Each time you donate to Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, know that you are aiding the longest-running, anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world. As we enter our 47th year in operation (having formed Dolphin Project on Earth Day, 1970), our mission remains the same: let’s protect dolphins together!

Thank you for your kind and generous support, and being on the right side of history.

For the dolphins, always,

Ric's Signature_Blk




Ric O’Barry
Founder/Director of Dolphin Project



Your support has never been more crucial and is greatly appreciated.

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Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit.

Our work has been chronicled in films such as, ‘A Fall From Freedom,’ the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ and in the Animal Planet mini-series, ‘Blood Dolphin$.’

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About Ric O'Barry

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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.

Author: Ric O'Barry


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