What Will 2016 Hold For Dolphins?
A Message from Ric O’Barry
As we near the end of 2015, I cannot help but reflect on just how much we have done to build awareness for suffering dolphins across the world. This year, Dolphin Project has been involved in several high-profile projects as well as initiated critical campaigns in Italy, France, Finland, Austria, Mexico, UK and the U.S., all geared towards ending the abuse inflicted on these ancient mammals.
I say ancient, because whales, in one form or another, have existed on this planet for 55 million years. And yet, in the past 50 years, we have seen the Baiji, or Yangtze River dolphin become extinct. Several other species, including the Ganges River dolphin, Hector’s dolphin and Maui’s dolphin are near extinction.
Some of our key initiatives this year have included:
- Ric O’Barry helped launch ‘Dolphin Project Italia,’ a new venture with Cetaceansound-Italy, to collaborate on a care and protection center for dolphins.
- Team members Lincoln O’Barry and Dr. Sarah Meltzoff traveled twice to Fanalei in the Solomon Islands to help local dolphin hunting tribes transition away from their centuries-old drive slaughter.
- Ric O’Barry traveled to The White House and met with members of the Obama Administration to deliver a petition demanding an end to the Taiji dolphin drives with over 1 million signatures. The names of those who signed the petition were later projected onto the Ronald Reagan Center.
- Ric took a historic trip to Beijing, China, where he educated a Chinese audience on the atrocities taking place in Japan, while introducing a new book he has co-authored, “The Cove.” The press tour included four of the largest cities in China.
- Dolphin Project and RYOT created the world’s first 360-degree wild dolphin immersive virtual reality video. Watch this on your smart phone and “swim” with wild dolphins from the comfort of your own home!
- Dolphin Project teamed up with Harry Styles and Maisie Williams on the #DontGotoSeaWorld campaign. This caused a 400% spike in online negative comments about SeaWorld.
Our Cove Monitors in Taiji, Japan have been on the ground every day so far during the 2015/16 hunting season.
At one point, Ric was briefly detained by local Taiji police, then later released. A special thanks to Assemblyman Richard Bloom, Congressmen Ted Lien, and the U.S. Embassy and State Department for their support. Days later, Dolphin Project Live Stream caught a stricken Risso’s dolphin dying at Ric’s feet. Both of these stories went viral, putting more eyes on Taiji. Our team also continues to test dolphin meat for PCB’s and radiation.
We need to keep the pressure on those responsible for imprisoning or killing dolphins.
Your donation dollars directly fund Dolphin Project’s campaigns. With your help, we can continue to make a real difference and improve the lives of dolphins.
As we enter our 46th year, we are more committed than ever to end the abuse and suffering of dolphins worldwide. We invite you to be part of the “good fight” and thank you for being on the right side of history.
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA (Tax ID 47-1665067), and donations are tax-deductible.
Featured Image: 45 Years of Being a Voice for the Voiceless
Photo Credit: DolphinProject.com, © 1973, 2015
- 2016: What A Year It Was! - December 15, 2016
- Dolphin Sabbatical Project: A Social Experiment for Captive Dolphins - June 17, 2016
- Statement on Morgan by Ric O’Barry - June 9, 2016
- Op Ed: Is it Okay to Go Back to SeaWorld? - March 31, 2016
- Addressing the Confusion about Angel - March 26, 2016
- Exclusive: Message from Ric O’Barry - February 8, 2016
- What Will 2016 Hold For Dolphins? - December 15, 2015
- The Finland Four - November 28, 2015
- Sale of Mercury-Laden Dolphin Meat Continues Despite Dangers - November 23, 2015
- Jailhouse Crock: Update from Taiji - October 7, 2015
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$.