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Saturday, September 1, kicks off the fourth dolphin drive-hunting season in Taiji, Japan since 2009’s Oscar-winning documentary The Cove detailed the tiny fishing village’s horrible secret.

There are a lot of Japanese people opposed to it, and there are people in high places working to stop it—they’re just not as visible as Ric O’Barry.

While the kill count has decreased every year—down to an all-time low of roughly 800 dead dolphins in the 2011-2012 season—there is still much work to be done.

No one knows this more than Ric O’Barry, the film’s hero and iconic dolphin freedom fighter.

On September 1, O’Barry and a busload of global activists will conduct a prayer vigil on the shore to honor the dolphins to be killed, and to remember those native villagers killed in last fall’s typhoons.

In the run-up to O’Barry’s visit to Taiji, TakePart caught up with the septuagenarian for a wide-ranging dolphin conversation.


The Cove: Sign the Petition to Help Save Japan's Dolphins



Letter to
Embassy of Japan in Denmark Embassy of Japan in Denmark
Japanese Embassy in Canberra, Australia Japanese Embassy in Canberra, Australia
I recently heard about the documentary film The Cove and was alarmed to find out that more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are brutally killed each year off the coast of Japan. In addition, Japanese consumers are being sold dolphin meat, containing dangerously high levels of mercury, often labeled as whale meat.

I ask that you urge the Japanese government to revoke permits that allow Japan's Fisheries Agency to continue this heinous, dangerous and illegal practice.

I also urge American leadership to ensure that the International Whaling Commission includes the proper management of dolphins and porpoises and a comprehensive plan to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.

Your immediate action is needed.


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