Taiji Tragedy Continues

By Ric O’Barry
Director
Dolphin Project

I’ve been in Taiji since last week, working closely with Sakura and other Japanese activists who are visiting.  My friend Satoshi, head of Flippers Japan, is coming to visit here soon. 

The good news is that there is a growing movement of Japanese animal rights activists who agree with us that the dolphin hunts in Taiji are cruel and should end.  They are conducting demonstrations in Tokyo and coming to Taiji to see the dolphin hunts for themselves.

Sakura has been posting updates from Taiji for the past three months in both Japanese and English (including on our Dolphin Project Facebook Page).  She is really dedicated, talking to every Japanese tourist who comes to visit Taiji about the dolphin hunts.  We wish we could clone her!

 

Risso’s dolphins in the Cove from a drive hunt on Friday in Taiji.  These beautiful animals were all killed.  Photo by Sakura Araki.

 

All this activity in Japan gives me hope for the future.  I need hope right now.  The dolphin hunts here are still very ghastly and would make anyone sick. 

 

Dead Risso’s dolphins being transferred from the killing grounds of the Cove to the slaughterhouse in Taiji harbor.  Photo by Sakura Araki.

 

Some other good news:  the dolphin killers have announced they will be stopping hunts on their annual end-of-year break, from Dec. 24th through January 4th.  So at least some dolphins and whales will get a respite for the holidays.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, too.  We cannot give up our efforts to stop the dolphin hunts here in Taiji and throughout Japan.   We should draw strength from our progress so far – we have accomplished quite a bit since 2003 when I first saw the dolphin hunts in Taiji for myself. 

The Dolphin Project Team and I will continue the effort for as long as it takes.  I can guarantee to you that we will not give up!

 

If you would like to help us with a donation, that would be great!

If you are helping us with your volunteer work and spreading the word, my deepest thanks.

Take care and happy holidays to you and yours from all of us at the Dolphin Project!
Photos of recent Risso’s dolphin hunt in Taiji by Sakura Araki.

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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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