Dolphin Defender Richard O’Barry Honored by South Miami Street Naming

Richard O’Barry Honored by South Miami Street Naming

Richard O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project and star of the Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, will be honored on Saturday, January 8th, by the City of South Miami naming a street “Richard O’Barry Drive”.

Over the last 40 years, O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries, 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 and Faroe Islands.  In 1991 OʼBarry received the ‘Environmental Achievement Award’ presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program (US/UNEP).  Most recently in 2010, O’Barry was voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and was listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.”  He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, The Mike Huckabee Show, andThe Oprah Winfrey Show, just to name a few.   O’Barry is a long-time resident of South Miami.

“I am very touched by this honor from the citizens of South Miami,” stated O’Barry.  “Through many years of ups and downs in my dolphin protection efforts, this is certainly a high point.”

“But there is still much work to do to protect dolphins around the world,” O’Barry added.  “Dolphins are being killed in Taiji, Japan, as I speak.  After the celebration on Saturday, our Save Japan Dolphins Team and I are off to Japan and several other countries to help dolphins and stop their slaughter and enslavement in captivity.  Our work continues, and I truly appreciate all the support we are getting from the public.”

Dolphins are killed in Japan for their meat, despite the fact that the meat is highly contaminated with mercury and other toxins.  Levels of mercury in dolphin meat often exceed Japanese and World Health Organization standards, but the Japanese government ignores the problem and continues to promote the killing of dolphins and whales.  Dolphin traffickers take advantage of the hunts to pick out “show-quality” dolphins for display in aquariums around the world, which will pay as much as $300,000 for a trained dolphin.  The captive dolphin industry subsidizes the slaughter, as depicted in The Cove.

The public dedication of the new street name is set for Saturday, January 8th, next to the South Miami City Hall, 6130 Sunset Drive, starting at 11 AM.  A band and food and drink will be supplied.

Along with the street naming celebration, Animal Planet, a Discovery channel, will be re-airing the O’Barry television series, Blood Dolphins, produced and directed by O’Barry’s son Lincoln, January 8th through the 16th.

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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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