A Dolphin Debate in Hong Kong

By Ric O’Barry
Director
Dolphin Project

My trip in Hong Kong, sponsored by Unity Investments Holdings Ltd. and organized by AIESEC LC HKBU: Make a Change to the World, has been quite a whirlwind of meetings and speeches.

I’ve talked with students, teachers, the media, and several different audiences.  I’ve even joined the group for a cruise to see the lovely pink dolphins of Hong Kong, beautiful animals that live on the margins of a very polluted city.  Fortunately, they have many friends here in town who are working to clean up the area.

Ric talks to the media in Hong Kong on a trip searching for the pink dolphins.

But one of the most important moments came on Friday, when I met and debated dolphin captivity with Dr. Allan Zeman, owner of Ocean Park, a dolphinarium in Hong Kong that has tried to remove wild dolphins from the Solomon Islands among other places.  Dr. Zeman agreed with me about the problem of the dolphin kill in Taiji, and he even agreed to join me this coming Sept. 1st to go to Taiji to see a dolphin slaughter.  You can see a bit of our debate in this clip from ATV News in Hong Kong:

I did some commentary on Dr. Zeman and our debate on a street in Hong Kong, on my Ustream channel:

Today, I visited a street in Hong Kong that sells all kinds of animals for food and medicinal purposes.  Items for sale include shark fins, manta rays, and all manner of other species that should be protected.

I also did a bit of anti-captivity work at the Hong Kong Yuen Po Street Bird Garden:

Video by Vriko Kwok, AIESEC LC HKBU: Make a Change to the World.

I head for home tomorrow, but wanted to again thank all the students who worked so hard to make this week a success, especially my friend Vriko Kwok.  She has been a wonderful host.

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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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