Activists + > Media
The Bloody Cove Puts Pressure on Fishermen

'The Cove' Puts Pressure on Taiji Fishermen, Dolphins To Be Released

BOULDER, Colorado (September 10, 2009) - Fishermen in Taiji, Japan will be releasing captured dolphins this week in response to international outcry following the award-winning film "The Cove." Some of the dolphins captured during the annual round up will be sold to aquariums, and while the rest are typically slaughtered in secret, the fishermen will be releasing them because of recent criticism.

An anonymous Taiji fisheries official said that it's not clear whether the town will stop killing dolphins permanently. Taiji residents see the dolphin hunt as a tradition that is no different than killing other animals for food. However, the dolphins that are killed and sold as food, often as mislabeled whale meat, contain toxic levels of mercury and are potentially poisoning Japanese consumers.

"The Cove" which won the Best Documentary Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival and over a dozen international film festival awards, exposes the Taiji dolphin slaughter and its consequences for Japanese public health. Louie Psihoyos, Director of the film, says, "The Cove is proof that one passionate person can make a difference and that together a few like-minded people can change the world. If the news is indeed true then this is a big victory for dolphins and the Japanese people." Psihoyos has written to Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki asking him to confirm the status of the dolphin drives.

News of the suspension of the dolphin killings comes after immense public support and calls to end the practice from a number of celebrities, including Hayden Panettiere, Isabel Lucas, Ben Stiller, Zooey Deschanel, and Yoko Ono. Russell Simmons has also embraced the film by hosting a special screening of "The Cove" last night in New York to raise awareness.

The fishermen in Taiji captured about 100 bottlenose dolphins and 50 pilot whales on Wednesday, with plans to sell some of their catch to aquariums for up to $150,000 per animal. While Psihoyos is pleased with the decision to release the unsold dolphins, the news is a mixed success.

"I'm thrilled that these dolphins won't be killed, resulting in less mercury-tainted meat on the market in Japan," Psihoyos said, "but the ideal scenario would be one where wild dolphins are not captured at all. When wild intelligent and sentient animals are captured and forced to tricks for our casual amusement - it says more about our intelligence than theirs."


Gina Papabeis
Oceanic Preservation Society

gina@opsociety. org
http://www.opsociet htm

The Bloody Cove trailer 
Get the Flash Player to see this player.

download the flv file

HuffPost Review: The Cove

The Cove were a fiction film, it would be derided as far-fetched, contrived, even hard to swallow.

The fact that it's nonfiction doesn't make it any easier to believe -- if only because the footage is so horrifying, the facts so disturbing. It's not that you can't believe it, but that you don't want to. Which is what makes The Cove one of the most important and heroic pieces of work I've ever seen. It's not just that these filmmakers expose vicious, inhumane and ecologically dangerous practices, apparently sanctioned and covered up by the Japanese government and its media. But the filmmakers have done it while risking their freedom -- even their lives -- for the cause.

The result is the year's most exciting film -- as well as a documentary that can't help but leave you upset and outraged...

http://www.huffingt marshall- fine/huffpost- review-ithe- cove_b_245206. html

Miami Times, Natalie O'Neill, April 1, 2009 dolphin_slaughter_movie_isnt_j.php
Riptide is a bit contrary by nature. So when we heard that critics from Rolling Stone and New York Magazine were raving over The Cove -- an environmental expos�-meets-heist documentary starring South Miami guy Ric O'Barry -- we secretly wanted to hate it. But when filmmakers showed the first public screening of the movie to a standing-room-only crowd last night at Miami City Hall, we just couldn't dislike it. We're no film critic, but this is one smart, exciting, and sometimes hilarious movie.
The documentary follows Flipper's former dolphin trainer, Ric O'Barry, as he tries to stop a heartbreaking dolphin slaughter at a hidden sea cove in a small Japanese fishing town. (O'Barry calls it "the little town with a big secret.") The film becomes more like Ocean's Eleven when the ballsy film crew decides to sneak cameras in fake rocks, despite strict police regulation. They plant microphones at the ocean's floor and use military-grade thermal cameras to pull off the operation.

Filmmaker Louie Psihoyos -- once a National Geographic photographer -- did a great job building tension and keeping a narrative thread, which seems like a lot of so-called important documentaries fail to do. As the packed city hall audience munched free pop corn, nobody whispered, left mid-movie, or fidgeted. During the slaughter scene, the woman next to Riptide put a coat over her face as the sound of screaming dolphins echoed through the theater. An older balding fellow in one row over had tears welling in his big brown eyes.

The movie also touches on other issues: mercury poisoning, the ethics of hunting, and censorship. Best of all: The movie promises to make ordinary people -- not only animal rights fanatics -- pay attention. (Afterward, a gentleman in the audience asked, "What can we do?")

The Cove is scheduled to come out in theaters this July, though an official date hasn't been set.

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,