Breaking: Ric O’Barry Arrested in Japan

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For Immediate Release: August 31, 2015

Contact: Media Requests 

Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project was arrested in the town of Nachikatsuura, a town located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan at approximately 8:30 p.m. on August 31, 2015 on suspicion of a violation of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act of Japan. He was reportedly accused of being unable to produce a passport. According to the act, any alien in Japan shall carry on his/her person at all times the passport or provisional landing permit. He is currently being held by Shingu police.

Both the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S. State Department have been contacted.

O’Barry, the subject of the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove,” is in Taiji to condemn the annual dolphin slaughter, scheduled to commence September 1 of this year.

The dolphin drive hunt takes place from September 1 to March 1 of each year in Taiji, Japan. Dolphins are killed for their meat or captured and shipped to aquariums for captive display. Due to O’Barry’s efforts, the hunt has received international criticism for extreme violence and cruelty to animals, as well as concern over the toxicity of their meat. A Twitter message by U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, has also condemned the annual slaughter of dolphins.

Dolphin Project Cove Monitors are on the ground in Taiji throughout the entire killing season to document and disseminate information to the rest of the world. O’Barry has personally been to the cove for the past 13 years, multiple times per season.

About Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project: 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 organization aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, free captive dolphins. 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. Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.  This 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$.’ For further information about Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project, visit

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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands


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