An Open Letter of Thanks to Taiji Police

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project Denounces Threats of
Violence Against Peaceful Monitors in Taiji

by Ric O’Barry
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

On November 10th, Dolphin Project’s Cove Monitors in Taiji, Japan, presented a hand-written letter to Taiji police in thanks for their professionalism and help this past week in response to threats of violence from fishermen and Japanese extremist nationalist groups against volunteers.

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project expresses our deep concern for recent threats against peaceful representatives of environmental organizations in Taiji, Japan, who are monitoring the ongoing dolphin slaughter.

Police in Taiji have expressed concern to us about the local Taiji fishermen and outside extreme nationalist groups who threaten the safety of our volunteers.  We condemn these threats in the strongest possible way.

In thanks for the police help and concerns for our safety, the text of the letter to the police follows:

To the police forces managing the Taiji area, we would like to give you our deepest thanks for your kind professionalism on the job here.

We all value the peace and safety of residents and visitors to Taiji area, and it remains an honor to cooperate with you.

We understand the people of Taiji faces a difficult situation right now, and we sincerely hope that one day, hopefully soon, positive changes will be embraced here that will bring improved prosperity and happiness to all the people who reside here.

Please accept this special thank you for guidance and protection.  We know your jobs are not easy; we know the hours are long and take you away from time with your families.  We appreciate your hard work and professional approach.

Best Wishes to you All.

from Leah Lemieux and Heather Hill
volunteers with


Ric O’Barry and our volunteer Dolphin Project Monitors in Taiji are dedicated to non-violence and lawful viewing and recording of the annual slaughter of dolphins in Taiji.  We do not condone violence or harassment against Taiji fishermen.   We have always cooperated with the local police.  We are strongly opposed to the capture of dolphins for slaughter and for captivity anywhere in the world.

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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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