Note From Ric – Dolphin Project


As head of the Dolphin Project, whenever a dolphin is in trouble anywhere in the world, my phone rings.  And that is why the Dolphin Project needs to exist.
In addition to our major global campaign in Taiji, Japan, to stop the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins, as depicted in the Academy Award-winning film, The Cove, we must be vigilant in other hotspots where dolphins are being exploited, enslaved, and butchered, such as the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Egypt, the Faroe Islands, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, South Korea and China.

It is hard work, and it keeps me and the Dolphin Project Team constantly traveling and trying to stay a step ahead.  But it is working.

In Indonesia, we now have a defacto ban on capture of wild dolphins and have set the stage for the first ever return of dolphins there to the wild.

In the Solomon Islands we are working closely with local villagers who have now pledged not to kill any more dolphins – saving the lives of more than 2,000 dolphins annually around the islands.  We are providing the villages with funding to help educate their children and improve sanitation and access to clean water.

We’re making progress in Japan, too, with the number of dolphins being killed lower than in past years and consumption of whale meat down 30% in 2010 (dolphin meat is often sold and mislabeled as whale meat.)  We have a long way to go, but we are making a difference, and I promise you I will do everything I can to shut down this barbaric slaughter.

We’ve partnered with grassroots activist organizations in Singapore and Thailand to stop the import of captive dolphins for aquarium/circuses and swim-with-dolphins tourist programs.  Captivity kills, and international dolphin traffickers are hard at work to grab dolphins from the wild and teach them to do stupid tricks.  They often work side by side with the people who slaughter the animals left over after the few “show quality” dolphins are taken.

We need to be there to speak up for the dolphins, to stop the killing and the captures, and even, when possible, to supervise the rehabilitation and release of captive dolphins back into the wild where they belong.  The Dolphin Project has done rehab and release of captive dolphins successfully more than any other organization in the world.

Your support is critical to our success.  I cannot do this without your help, your donations, and your involvement.

Please join me – we owe it to the dolphins that have done so much to make this a beautiful planet.


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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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