At the start of the killing season in Taiji, Japan, here's the latest news from the Cove:

Image from the hit film The Cove. It's causing quite a stir in Japan.

The Cove Exposed

By Ric O'Barry, Campaign Director, Save Japan Dolphins Coalition

We were in Taiji on the first day of the scheduled resumption of the killing season, and the media glare we brought helped ensure that no dolphins were killed. Days later after we had left they captured about 100 dolphins and 50 pilot whales. While the pilot whales were regrettably killed, something unprecedented happened: the fishermen chose about 30 dolphins for captivity, but then released 70 back to freedom, instead of killing them. The fishermen admitted that they did so because of worldwide public outcry, from you and me and many thousands like us.

As I write this, a new “non-slaughter” policy is in effect, which is a truly amazing development. But it is fragile, temporary, and unless we intensify the pressure, we will not be able to hold it. Our presence in Taiji increases the odds that the killing won’t start again.

So I wanted to alert you that our team and I are now on our way back to Japan for the first ever screening of The Cove to Japanese media, and then for further investigations in Taiji.

The schedule is grueling, but it is worth it because we are having a huge positive effect. You are keeping a dedicated team of activists on the ground to confront the largest killing of dolphins in the world, and every donation goes right to support campaign work at this crucial time. Thanks for your help – large or small.

Ric back at the Cove, with attendant international media. Photo Mark J. Palmer.

Meanwhile, The Tokyo Int’l Film Festival had rejected showing The Cove movie earlier this year, but, due to our generating international attention, they have now reversed themselves and added The Cove to their line-up in October.

Tokyo Film Festival jury chief Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu stated: "I hope this film is exposed and as many others, and that it will generate some emotions and reflections that trigger discussions and conscience in order to put an end to the horrifying dolphin slaughter, which is now going on." I am amazed and heartened by Mr. Inarritu’s support.

This is all tremendous news, but we can’t let up.

We are fighting against a government policy that has never wavered in its support for killing dolphins and whales. And they are allowing mercury-laden dolphin meat to be given to their children in school lunches. This will not be easily changed.

The crimson tide in Taiji last year.

Follow my Blog as I return to Tokyo to screen The Cove, expose the still secret slaughter, and hold the line in Taiji. Help give what you can to make the cove safe for dolphins – a goal that is becoming more reachable by the day.


Please sign the petition; we now have more than a quarter million signatures!


Your continued support is very important to our continuing work. It is very expensive to work in Japan and get the word out to the Japanese media about Taiji. We have had some major breakthroughs, but we still have a long way to go.

A key part of our action plan is to use international pressure and diplomacy. Please visit our website to find out how you can help.

Thank you,

Help keep the pressure on to stop the slaughter