Day 18: O’Barry Grows Weaker; Delay Cause for Concern

Tokyo, February 5, 2016: Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project has been incarcerated in a Japanese detention center for 18 days. At the time of this writing, no formal deportation order has been issued, making O’Barry a prisoner of the country.

Says Helene Hesselager O’Barry:

Ric called me from his cell this morning, and I worry for both his safety and his health. He is being treated like a criminal, held in captivity for more than 18 days. I fear his continued incarceration is punishment by the Japanese authorities for speaking out against the dolphin slaughter. Let Ric into Japan or let him go.”

O’Barry’s legal team has also expressed serious concerns over the lack of response from the Department of Justice. Says lawyer Takashi Takano:

The delay in responding to Ric’s case is a very bad situation, and is not normal. I am concerned because this situation is so unusual. He is getting weak and is unable to eat. Ric has already suffered a health scare, having chest pains which required a trip to the hospital.”


On January 18, 2016, O’Barry was detained by Japanese immigration officials at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. What started off as a “routine” questioning turned into a repeated interrogation. He was placed in a deportees’ facility, similar to a jail, where he was held for over three days. When O’Barry later refused to board a flight that would take him back to the United States, he was placed in a formal detention facility, where he has been incarcerated ever since.

For 13 years, O’Barry has been peacefully visiting the fishing town of Taiji, bringing information of the brutal dolphin slaughters taking place there to the rest of the world. His work was the subject of the 2009 Academy award-winning documentary “The Cove,” and while the movie shed light on the unimaginable cruelty of the drives, it also caused increased suspicion and scrutiny of O’Barry himself.

What you can do
Dolphin Project is calling for international action, demanding the release of Ric O’Barry



Sign the petition to free Ric O’Barry



Dolphin Project has mounted a legal defense fund, as our legal costs are escalating. All donations are greatly appreciated and urgently needed.

Click here to Donate



Contact the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo, Japan and demand the release of Ric O’Barry.

In Japan:

1-10-5 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 JAPAN
Phone: 03-3224-5000
Fax: 03-3505-1862

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy
Twitter: @CarolineKennedy

From the United States:

Unit 9800 Box 300
APO AP 96303-0300
Phone: 011-81-3-3224-5000
Fax: 011-81-3-3505-1862

Contact your local Japanese Embassy

The Embassy of Japan, Washington, D.C.
2520 Massachusetts Ave N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States
Phone: 1 202-238-6700
email: [email protected]



Spread the word! Share on all your social media, using the hashtag

#FreeRicOBarry & #IStandWithRicOBarry



BREAKING: Ric O’Barry Detained in Tokyo
Japanese Government Denies O’Barry’s Appeal to Enter Country
Legal Defense Appeal: Urgent Message from Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project
International Outcry over Ric O’Barry’s Continued Detention in Japan
O’Barry Captivity Day 10, Slaughters Continue

Dolphin Project would like to thank everyone worldwide who continues to fight on Ric O’Barry’s behalf. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.


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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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