Dolphin Project Back in Taiji

Dolphin Hunts to Begin again in Notorious Cove

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project returns to the notorious Cove – made infamous by the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove – for the beginning of the six month-long dolphin-slaughter season on Sept. 1st 2012.

“Our Dolphin Project Team and I are returning to Taiji once again to oppose the killing of dolphins and to warn the people of Japan about the dangers of eating mercury-contaminated dolphin meat,” states Ric O’Barry, Director of the Dolphin Project.  “The hunts must end, and the people of Japan will be the ones to end the hunts.”

“We have made some progress; the number of dolphins being killed in Taiji has gone down for the past four years of our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign,” noted O’Barry.  “The Japanese people, being warned about mercury and other contaminants in dolphin and whale meat, are buying less and less of it.”


Beginning at 11 AM on September 1st, representatives from 5 continents will arrive at the Cove in Taiji, Japan, to conduct a series of events to mark the new dolphin slaughter season and to tell the world what is happening in Taiji:

• Participants will form a circle for a moment of silence for the souls of the dolphins that have been killed in the past and will be killed in the coming season.  Taiji receives permits to kill almost 2,100 dolphins each year in the most horrible ways imaginable.  The prayer will also honor the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as well as those who lost their lives in Taiji/Wakamaya Prefecture during the August 2012 typhoon.  The Dolphin Project had team members on the ground during both tragedies and are deeply saddened by the loss of life and turmoil.


• Up and coming singer/song-writer/guitar artist Arielle will perform songs she has written about the dolphins.

• Participants will line the street in front of the Cove with signs in Japanese warning the Japanese people that “Dolphin Meat is Poisoned by Mercury.”  Heavy metal pollution of dolphin and whale meat makes it dangerous for anyone to eat.


The dolphin hunts are scheduled to begin on Sept. 1st.  Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project will be fielding volunteer Cove Monitors for the entire season again

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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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