Taiji Dolphin Hunts Closing Down for Season

By Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Dolphin Project

Our volunteer Cove Monitor Tim Burns reports that the Taiji dolphin hunters are cleaning up the slaughterhouse and putting their banger poles away for the season.

Due to our relentless campaign of educating the Japanese people about the dangers of eating mercury-contaminated dolphin meat, the demand for such meat is way down in Japan.  And the hunters have killed far fewer dolphins than last year, according to our estimates.

We’ll have more on this later this evening.

Thank you all for your efforts for the dolphins!

Our volunteer Cove Monitors are real champions, and they all deserve our thanks for their time, money and energy under very difficult conditions.  (Although Tim Burns is getting in quite a bit of surfing these days!)

Thank you one and all!

This is not the end, of course.  The dolphin hunters will be back on September 1st.  And, like last year, there is a good chance if they come across any pilot whales while they are fishing that they will try to harpoon them or chase them into the Cove.  Let’s redouble our efforts.

I promise you I will be there, too, on Sept. 1st with our Dolphin Project Team.


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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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