Back on the Ground in Taiji
By Johanne Aa Rosvoll
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
(Note from Ric O’Barry: Johanne came from Norway to Japan to help us out in Taiji, and she has been coming ever since. She is one of our dedicated Cove Monitors who comes at her own expense to keep the pressure on the dolphin hunters and the Japanese government. She submitted this blog about her recent experiences in Taiji. We thank her and all our wonderful Cove Monitors. What Johanne and our monitors do does matter!)
My 4th time here in Taiji! Can`t believe it’s been three years since my first time to Taiji. My first time witnessing a dolphin being slaughtered; my first time seeing dolphins being taken to a life in captivity. My first time feeling like I have found my place – a place that is frankly tough to have found. A place I wish did not exist, but now, since it is here, I am glad I’m here on behalf of the dolphins.
My first two days here have gone without any dolphins being slaughtered or taken to captivity. It’s such an indescribable feeling when the days go by and the dolphins of the ocean are safe, and I can breathe a sigh of relief. Well, at least for a couple of hours until the boats go out again.
My passion for these dolphins is beyond any feeling I can describe. Seeing them swim for their lives while they are being chased is something I will never get used to. And I don’t want to get used to it, either, because that would send out the message that I accept what is happening to them. And I don’t! I never will! They belong in their right environment, and that is in the ocean, that is where they are free and happy. That is where they have always been, and that is where they should always be!
This time I’m here with my beautiful friends and Cove Monitor colleagues Tia and Sakura. I’m so blessed to be able to be here with these two. They are my rock, and together with them I feel like I can get through anything while I’m here! Because being here on some days can really knock you down, and then you have to have someone to pick you up again, tell you it’s going to be okay; tell you that they’ll have you’re back; tell you that what you are doing does really matter!
My wishes for the dolphins are for their freedom! Dont ever buy a ticket, please! I know it can be hard sometimes to understand that the ticket you are buying to a dolphin show is the reason why I’m here in Taiji, Japan, but that’s the truth! Please be a voice for these desperate dolphins instead, by not purchasing a ticket – ever! It is such an easy thing to do to help make a change for the dolphins to happen!
I’m so thankful to be able to be here again, and I will forever be the dolphins’ strongest voice for justice and freedom! That is a promise!
With love from Johanne!
- Happy 47th Birthday Dolphin Project! - April 18, 2017
- BREAKING: Taiji’s Drive Season Over - February 28, 2017
- 2016: What A Year It Was! - December 15, 2016
- Dolphin Sabbatical Project: A Social Experiment for Captive Dolphins - June 17, 2016
- Statement on Morgan by Ric O’Barry - June 9, 2016
- Op Ed: Is it Okay to Go Back to SeaWorld? - March 31, 2016
- Addressing the Confusion about Angel - March 26, 2016
- Exclusive: Message from Ric O’Barry - February 8, 2016
- What Will 2016 Hold For Dolphins? - December 15, 2015
- The Finland Four - November 28, 2015
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$.