Michael Reppy: Sailing for the Dolphins

By Ric O’Barry

Campaign Director

Save Japan Dolphins

 

We have many volunteers for our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign who often go to great lengths to help save dolphins and whales.  But none have gone farther than sailor and volunteer Michael Reppy, who is out to set a new solo sailing record from San Francisco to Tokyo, flying his main sail with our Save Japan Dolphins logo!

For those of you counting, that is an incredible 5,700 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean.  The current record from 1992 is 34 days, 6 hours, and some minutes.

Michael aims to beat that.  In the process, he plans to use the record in Japan to promote an end to the killing of dolphins and small whales in Taiji.

He’s made several attempts, coming in once at 36 days to Japan.

Michael has been working  with his various boats for several years, always using his vessels to promote the protection of dolphins and whales.  He joined me in Tokyo in September and visited Taiji for several days with other volunteers.

He’s planning his sail to Japan aboard his boat Dolphin Spirit next spring.  We salute his efforts and wish him well on his trip – breaking such an important oceanic record, all by himself, will certainly bring dolphins into the public eye in Japan in a unique and peaceful manner.

You can learn more about Michael’s efforts by going to his web page:

http://www.dolphinspirit.org/

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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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