More Captive Dolphins in the Cove

By Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

Since last Monday, the dolphin hunters have had bad luck in catching any dolphins.   That’s good luck for the dolphins!

Either kept off the ocean entirely due to high wind and weather, or going out and not finding any dolphins, the dolphin hunters have not brought any dolphins into the Cove – until today, when the dolphins’ luck ran out.

A small pod of bottlenose dolphins (Flipper in the television series and many captive dolphins are bottlenose) was found by the hunters and pushed into the Cove.   There were about 7 to 10 dolphins in all.


One dolphin from the pod was removed for captivity and sent to Dolphin Base, a major captive facility in Taiji that has “swim with dolphins” programs in a small swimming pool next to the Dolphin Hotel, and trains other dolphins for captive facilities around the world.

The rest of the pod was released.  As Sakura, our Japanese volunteer Cove Monitor, told me, “It was so sad to see the dolphin family separated like that.”

Captivity kills.  The aquariums in Japan and other countries that get dolphins from Taiji are doing so to replace dolphins they had that died on them. 

Sakura and Kayoko, our volunteer Cove Monitors, at the overlook south of the harbor to Taiji.

My thanks to Sakura, Kayoko, and Kei, who are helping out in Taiji as Cove Monitors.  These are our first Japanese nationals who are working to end the killing of dolphins and the capture of dolphins for captivity in Taiji.

We need to keep the heat on the Japanese government and the dolphin hunters to end these hunts once and for all.

For updates from our Cove Monitors in Taiji, #Tweet4dolphins.

Ric on the rocks near the entrance to Taiji harbor, Japan.


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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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