An Urgent Update From Japan

We want you to know that our Dolphin Project Cove Monitor team is on the ground right now in Taiji, Japan, fighting to end the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world.  We won’t give up on stopping the dolphin kills, and are intensifying pressure on the Japanese government to quit this cruel and senseless slaughter.

The first killing of the season has happened, after 15 days of the dolphin hunters’ failure to find and herd dolphins into the notorious Cove.  More killings are sure to come.

We’re keeping a watchful eye on the dolphin killing boats in harbor, and alerting media to let the world know about the bloody drive fishery and the deadly levels of mercury in dolphin meat being sold to the Japanese public.  Your support is greatly appreciated, in your following us on Facebook, Twitter, and our LIVE Stream,

This year, with your support, and the dedication of members around the world, we helped coordinate 95 Japan Dolphins Day events in 39 countries with more than 15,000 participants.   In Ottawa, Sydney, Rio, Budapest, San Francisco, Madrid, Dublin, and many more cities, people are standing up to say that the killing of dolphins and whales must STOP.


Ric and friends form a prayer circle at the Cove in Taiji on August 31st, the day before the official start of the six-month dolphin hunting season.  Photo copyright by Terran Baylor/


You can help dolphins today with an online gift.  DONATE HERE.  Your generous support helps us work to end the slaughter, stop the trade in dolphins for sad lives in captivity, and educate the Japanese people about the dangers of eating contaminated dolphin meat.


Izumi Ishii & Ric O’Barry

Ric and former dolphin hunter Mr. Izumi Ishii before entering the US Embassy in Japan on August 29th in Tokyo.  Photo copyright by Terran Baylor/


We work closely with a growing legion of Japanese activists because we know that growing public opposition within Japan is key to ending the killing.  This year Mr. Izumi Ishii has joined us. He is a third generation dolphin hunter, involved in dolphin hunts since he was young.   But finally, one day, he realized killing dolphins was wrong.  He quit the dolphin hunts and now runs whale- and dolphin-watching cruises in Japan and has become a strong advocate for ending the dolphin killing.


A Japanese coast guard vessel stays in Taiji for the entire hunt season to prevent activists from interfering in the dolphin drives.  Photo copyright by Terran Baylor/


Just a couple of weeks ago, I along with Mr. Ishii pressed our case to the US Ambassador’s office in Tokyo, rallied our volunteers and media at the Cove in Taiji, and set off to the Taiji Mayor’s office to let them know of our petitions from more than 2.5 MILLION people around the world calling for an end to the killing.

Mr. Ishii and I waded through a throng of Japanese police lining the street in front of the Taiji Mayor’s office. 

The Mayor refused to discuss their plans to kill dolphins again this year.  He has no answer for the fact that the dolphin kill brings shame to Japan, that the dolphin meat is poisoned with dangerous levels of mercury, and that the killing is inhumane.  So the Mayor hid out, hoping that our team from Japan and around the world would just go away.

Well, we aren’t going away.

Our team were also able to enter the Taiji Whale Museum, a place claiming to be about education, but actually serving as a warehouse for dolphins captured for export by the Taiji dolphin killers.  It is also a place where patrons can buy dolphin and whale meat snacks while watching dolphins perform!  The young albino dolphin “Angel” was captured in the dolphin drive early this year while his mother and family were butchered for meat. 


Angel, the albino dolphin caught in the drive hunts last January and taken from her mother, is still in an indoor tank at the notorious Taiji Whale Museum.  Photo copyright by Terran Baylor/


Angel now swims in tight circles in a small concrete tank, feeding on dead fish. This is just plain wrong.

What kind of Museum perpetrates this kind of abuse of dolphins and whales?  It is time for the Taiji Museum to be closed and Angel to be released.

Were you inspired by The Cove and want to do more. Join Ric O’Barry on the front lines of Taiji, Japan as a Dolphin Project Cove Monitor.

Our Dolphin Project Team will not quit.  We are making real progress.  Fewer dolphins are being killed, and fewer people are willing to eat dolphin meat.  More Japanese people are rising up to oppose the slaughter.  Your support is making this progress possible.

Your donations help us be the voice for the whales and dolphins in the courts, in government chambers, and in the media, at the Cove, and around the world.

We are here only because of the support you provide. 



A dolphin drive in Taiji.  Photo copyright by Terran Baylor/


Help us keep this up.  Please DONATE HERE today to stop the bloody dolphin hunts once and for all.  We are making a world of difference for dolphins, and we’re and counting on you.
Photos Copyright by Terran Baylor/

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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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