ric o'barry

I’m absolutely heartbroken hearing the news of today’s slaughter of a pod of Risso’s dolphins at the cove in Taiji. Three dolphins were sold into a horrible life of captivity, and the rest were slaughtered. Up until today, it had been a miraculous 20 days of peace at the cove, and as grateful as I was to have almost 3 kill-free weeks, my heart remained sad knowing the fisherman would inevitably be successful at some point.

My thoughts are with the Save Japan Dolphins Cove Monitors and the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians who had to witness today’s slaughter.

Please visit SaveJapanDolphins.org to help end these yearly hunts.

I am not at all interested in having my daughter who is 3-and-a-half grow up thinking that it’s normalized to have these intelligent, highly evolved animals in concrete pools. I don’t want her to think that’s how we treat the kin that we find ourselves around on this planet. I think it’s atrocious.“ - John Jett

“People who have faced death often speak of their lives flashing before their lives. Something much different happened to dolphin trainer Richard O'Barry when one of the dolphins that played Flipper on television died of stress in his arms. He realized that most of his career as an animal trainer had been a mistake and that dolphins have as much right to freedom as humans. He vowed not to rest until he freed every last dolphin that could be returned to the wild successfully.

This is a true story that will move not only animal lovers but everyone who loves a well-told tale. He began to understand that dolphins were easy to train because of their great intelligence, not his great talent, and keeping them in captivity was cruel and morally wrong. While research and entertainment are important to human life, they are not worth the cost to these beautiful and gentle animals.

O'Barry was arrested trying to free a dolphin, but that didn’t stop him, and he now devotes his life to untraining dolphins and returning them to their natural habitats. Once the pride of the billion-dollar dolphin captivity industry, he has since become its nemesis.”


I just participated in a protest action against a Swedish dolphinarium. Several of their dolphins have been caught in the wild, thus deprived of their family to which they have very strong emotional bonds. Captive dolphins are confined to the space of tiny pools, while being designed to swim tens of kilometers a day - an equivalence to you being imprisoned in a 20 m^2 room for all your life. Their lifespan is radically reduced due to stress, and many dolphins eventually go mad.

During the protest, I had the privilige to talk to (and hug!) Ric O’Barry, a notorious activist, former dolphin trainer and creator of the Oscar winning documentary The Cove.

“A dolphins smile is nature’s greatest deception. It gives the impression they’re always happy”
-Ric O’Barry


Look at these two images, and decide which is the one you think shows the true beauty of orcas. Tilikum was meant to have a life like the one of the whale in the latter photo, wild and free. Captivity is not necessary to show people the beauty of these creatures, if anything it casts a disturbing light onto them by corrupting these free spirits. People can see orcas on whale watches just as they see humpback whales on whale watches. People can still have an awareness of wild animals who are too big to keep in captivity humanely. Please do not buy tickets to marine parks showcasing whales and dolphins. Help put an end to the inhumane practices of these places, who turn these intelligent, sentient beings into cash cows.


“I usually don’t respond to our few detractors, but the recent article in Newsweek seemed deserving because the misinformation it contained might be believed. Mr. Powell’s article contains false equivalence and journalistic cowardice that insists that every story must have two sides. It’s also devoid of basic fact checking.

I hope to set the record straight by clarifying a few of the article’s claims, and by releasing unedited footage from The Cove that has never been seen before, so that the public can determine for themselves that none of the footage we used was doctored:

Newsweek (March 27): ‘Mistrust of the filmmakers and anti-hunt activists is so intense that some villagers, who say the water never turns that red during the killing, believe the producers later added the lurid color with special effects. The filmmakers adamantly deny this.’

I have always said that the slaughter we showed in The Cove was the Disney version of what actually happens behind the tarps. It seems that now it’s time to show the truth of how barbaric the Taiji fishermen and their renegade mayor really are.” - Louie Psihoyos

Southwest airlines supports seaworld by offering its fliers discounted passes to seaworld parks. 

Let southwest airlines know how you feel about this partnership here.

“Southwest has had a relationship with SeaWorld for about 25 years.The airline has painted several of its planes with images of park’s marine mammals, such as an orca named Shamu, and last year it unveiled Penguin One, an aircraft painted with penguins as part of a new SeaWorld exhibit on Antarctica in Orlando, Fla.”

One of the first steps in getting others to see the problem is to know dolphins in the wild. The most obvious and important difference is that wild dolphins don’t wear funny hats, for instance. Nor do they jump through hoops, dance on their tails, applaud themselves with their pectoral fins, or make squeaky sounds like Flipper the TV star.

In your study of dolphins you’ll find that the majority of dolphins held in captivity are Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. (Tursiops truncatus) They live in temperate and tropical waters worldwide, weigh from 300 to 600 pounds and grow to more than eight feet in length. They live in groups called “pods,” made up of from several individuals to several hundred - males usually hanging out with males, females with females and their calves - and they swim up to 40 miles a day, navigating, socializing, mating, and foraging for schools of fish.


Today in Taiji, a large number of short-finned pilot whales were slaughtered. It took at least 5 documented trips to bring the fresh bodies to the butcher house. They were held in the killing cove for 44 hours without food. Some were selected for a life imprisoned in captivity and after the slaughter, the banger boats worked to drive the remaining pilot whales back to sea. Most are juveniles and are weak, starving and grieving the loss of their family. They will likely stay close to the shore where they witnessed members of their family get brutally murdered. It’s a sad day in this cove whenever the water runs red, but I can’t get over the extra torture inflicted on these sentient beings. It’s disgusting and the killers/Taiji Fishermen must get off on the power they think they have when all they are showing is cowardly and weakness.

There is no reason for the Taiji dolphin drive to be taking place in this day and age and it needs to come to an end. I can only thank Ric O’Barry and his Dolphin Project and the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians for keeping the spotlight and the pressure on Taiji. Let’s not hide what is going on. It’s time people all over the globe become aware so we can ban together and fight to end this. Our planet and these animals depend on us.


Kids Speak Out for Dolphins- NEW PSA