Pilot Whale Pod Shattered Forever In The Cove

By Kirsten Massebeau

A pod of approximately 50 pilot whales were driven into, “The Cove“, netted off and left for the night on November 19th. In years past the dolphin killers have stated that the mammoth cetaceans, closest cousin to the orca, was much easier to slaughter and capture after a night without food and water. Cove Monitors commented on the Matriarch moving through the pod the previous night, checking on her family.  Little did she know what was ahead. There would be no stopping the terror and suffering the dawn would bring.

As the killers approached in skiffs moving toward the nets in their cold dance of death the exhausted pod panicked realizing the brutality, and carefully calculated torture that would ensue.

The skiffs manned with IMATA certified trainers, the slaughter team, and the cold and cruel hunters on skiffs surrounded part of the pod netted off. The horror began as the killers in wetsuits slipped into the water while the hunters roared their Mercury engines in an effort to drive these highly intelligent beings to the shore of the killing cove.

For many hours the torture and fight for life would continue. Onlookers watched as the pod was wrenched apart and slowly marched to their death.

From the entire pod one juvenile was taken for captivity. The price of this pilot whale to a marine park will pay for the entire slaughter for their Mercury engines, equipment and more.

The dolphin hunters callously wrangle a panicked whale into a net with the help of a diver as his or her family watches on in the midst of chaos. As blood begins to spill into the water the family fights harder for life without success. The whales are no match for the humans armed with machines and hearts of stone.

As the terrorizing of this pod continued the sensitive pilot whales begin to give up. This whale on his back has accepted there is no hope for his or her family. Their history, their lives are over and he or she knows it.

Tethered by their tails many whales were dragged backwards towards the pithing station under the tarps. Drowning would be merciful compared to the slow and cruel death under the tarps.

Eventually the cove would run red with the blood of these amazing, mammoth individuals. The matriarch and all her family had been shattered forever.

The water became redder and redder as more whales were forced under the killing tarps.

Slowly the five skiffs began to come out from under the tarps loaded with the dead bodies of the pod on their way to the butcher house where they will be packaged and sold.

Is it over? That is yet to be seen as a large portion of the pod remains netted off swimming in the blood of their family. The cold hunters motor by the remaining victims with the bodies of their family, and the matriarch who led them now gone forever. Sadly the hunters left without dropping the nets or releasing the pod, so the fate of the remaining whales who continue to spy hot in a tight cluster is yet to be revealed. They too may be forced to make the death march under the death tarps in the cove, where the slaughterer with his steel pithing knife, and bamboo nails Continue reading

In Memory of the Dolphins Lost in “The Cove” Hunting 2014-2015

By Kirsten Massebeau

As another year of the Taiji dolphin drive hunting season ends dolphin activists worldwide take time for reflection as they contemplate and remember dolphins families and victims lost since September 1st.

Dolphin travelers migrating North will find the Kuroshio Current has a deadly "truck stop" known as Taiji. Only the lucky make it South in winter months.

Dolphin travelers migrating North will find the Kuroshio Current has a deadly “truck stop” known as Taiji. Only the lucky make it South in winter months.

Whilst the “False Killer Whale” has fallen from the roster of dolphin victims (none spotted since the 2011/2012 season) many other species of dolphin travelers going South on the Kuroshio Current were found by the dolphin hunters. 46 pods of dolphins were driven into the bloody killing cove of Taiji where they lost their children, liberty, history and their lives for aquariums, fertilizer, and human consumption.

The Risso’s dolphins would be seen as the dominate species driven into “The Cove” in 2014/2015 as the hunters went beyond their quota: 333 individuals were captured, 259 large adults slaughtered, only seven juveniles (children), were taken for marine parks, and 67 were dumped, or brutally driven back out to sea. The hunters took five over their quota for Risso’s dolphins. (source)

The striped dolphin a favorite food of the coastal area took the worst toll in terms of deaths. There was a quota of 450 for Striped Dolphins, of those 383 individuals were pushed into the cove. Of the 383 striped dolphins, not one was shown mercy or spared. No releases and no captures. Small pods, little families, with babies on board, and grandparents, would lose everything as they were pushed past hell’s gates to their deaths in Hatajiri Bay also known as “The Cove” a state park located in Taiji, Japan. (source)

Whilst the Japanese Fisheries would have the world believe that dolphins die instantly nothing is farther from the truth. In 2010 wildlife photographer Dieter Hagmann obtained secret footage of a slaughter during a striped dolphin drive. He captured the inhumane and slow slaughter of dolphins documenting what appeared to be death after struggling for 7 minutes. Because pithing begins with paralyzing the dolphin, and the bamboo nails inhibit the bleeding the suffering is extended. Some have estimated the dolphins still live for up to an hour or more as they are pithed at the cove and then transported to the butcher house where the dolphins are literally slaughtered and sold.

The dolphin meat contains Mercury, PCB’s and Cesium-137 as documented by most recently by the the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project:

The full results were as follows:

  • Cesium-137: 3.37Bq/kg. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 100Bq/kg.
  • PCBs: 0.12ppm. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.5ppm.
  • Total Mercury: 1.4ppm. This is higher than the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.4ppm.

The mercury level is of concern. Even low-level mercury poisoning can have a substantial impact on human health because it bio-accumulates in the body over time. (source)

The Fisherman’s Union responsible for the hunt numbers are few. There is little call for dolphin meat in a modern world. So how does the hunt survive?

According to The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project: Dolphinariums that work together with the Japanese dolphin killers are a major reason that the dolphin massacres are still going on, and organizations such as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums or WAZA, endorse the hunts by allowing members into their orgs who source dolphins from the drives. (source)

Thanks to the academy award winning documentary, “The Cove” saving dolphins and whales from marine parks, captivity, and the slaughter it supports has become a worldwide movement that is growing each day. September 1st marked the opening of the hunt and events were held in Taiji and globally in opposition to the dolphin drive.

By ScubaFilmFactory

On January 15th the 5th Annual “Change for Taiji & Candle Vigil” Event took place in  in front of the Miami Japanese Consulate. Because of the captive industries close ties with dolphin drive fisheries to many the day was a moving demonstration of sadness, and hope that ended with a candle vigil.

          2014/2015 QUOTA:     1,938 total animals from seven species

  • Bottlenose : 108 caught · 028 killed · 041 live-capture · 039 released · 069 total take · quota = 509 · 440 more allowed
  • False Killer Whale : 000 caught · 000 killed · 000 live-capture · 000 released · 000 total take · quota = 070 · 070 more allowed
  • Pantropical Spotted : 193 caught · 040 killed · 024 live-capture · 127 released · 064 total take · quota = 400 · 336 more allowed
  • Pacific White-sided : 006 caught · 000 killed · 006 live-capture · 000 released · 000 total take · quota = 134 · 128 more allowed
  • Risso’s : 333 caught · 259 killed · 007 live-capture · 067 released · 266 total take · quota = 261 · 005 over quota
  • Short-finned Pilot : 061 caught · 041 killed · 002 live-capture · 018 released · 049 total take · quota = 114 · 065 more allowed
  • Striped : 383 caught · 383 killed · 000 live-capture · 000 released · 383 total take · quota = 450 · 067 more allowed. (source)

Be the change you want to see! Join and support  dolphinproject.net today!

Ric O’Barry personally spent a good part of this winter in Taiji monitoring and documenting the dolphin hunt and captive facilities foregoing holidays with family and events in his honor to stand watch for dolphins. He works 24/7 to be a voice for the dolphins in Taiji and in captivity. Where and when ever a dolphin needs help you will find Ric O’Barry.

“Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project has some phenomenal projects in the works — returning to the Solomon Islands, ending Indonesia’s traveling circus, Taiji of course, and Camp Lumba-Lumba — the first and largest permanent dolphin re-adaptation center in the world. Find ways to help here and become part of the pod here!.

Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans Always Sharing Current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health.

Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans Always Sharing Current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health.

Join us on Facebook pages Champions for Cetaceans and Save The Blood Dolphins for news and updates about dolphins and whales daily! Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans always sharing current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health. Don’t forget to like our friends at I Love Dolphins another page with amazing updates and ways to take action for dolphins and the International Whale and Dolphin Stranding Network for current news on dolphin strandings worldwide.

Check back for upcoming posts on individual species analysis 2014/2015 drive season!







Ask CNN To Report on The Captive Selection and Slaughter Of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales In The Cove

By Kirsten Massebeau

Today the roar of the banger boats, and the black smoke was an unwelcome sight to dolphin advocates on the ground in Taiji, Japan as the dolphin hunting boats known as  moved into formation. Twitter became alive with Tweets as The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project and other activists reported a large pod of pilot whales was being forced into the infamous killing cove. It wouldn’t be until the nets were drawn that bottlenose dolphins, most desired by SeaWorld, and friends to stock marine parks and aquariums would be noted within the pod.

In 2009 the documentary, “The Cove” staring Ric O’Barry would be released exposing the terrible capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The world was shocked to watch dolphins, who science have determined are highly intelligent beings divided destroyed. The young and strong were selected for captivity, while their parents and grandparents were slaughtered for meat, and fertilizer. The entire process was so obviously cruel and inhumane that many thought it would end following the release of, “The Cove” and then it’s academy award win in 2010 for best documentary would give it even more impact but sadly that would not be the case. Sponsored by the captive industry in order to fill orders for marine parks the hunt would continue with captures escalating. Young dolphins would be hoisted into slings headed for captivity whilst their parents were simultaneously, slowly slaughtered.

In 2011 the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project representative, wildlife photographer and storm chaser Brian Barnes was on the ground in Taiji. His footage of a mass pilot whales suicide would shock the world as the hunters stood by and laughed as whales threw their huge bodies against the rocks to avoid being dragged to a slow death under the blue tarps now associated with terrible dolphin suffering.

Killing Dolphins at Taiji is Slow and Cruel from BlueVoice.org on Vimeo.

The supposed, “Fisherman” claimed this was Western foolishness, propaganda. They took every stop possible to cover up what went on once a dolphin was dragged beneath their tarps. Again though the terrible suffering would be exposed by Dieter Hagmann of Atlantic Blue in Europe. His time elapsed secret footage would prove once and for all that these dolphins were suffering beyond any slaughter known. Behind the blue tarps a striped dolphin would have a steel blade driven behind his or her blow hole. Then the “Fisherman” drove bamboo pegs into the wounds to slow the bleeding in order to hide their work. For approximately 10 minutes the dolphin flays, twisting and writhing as the butcher heartlessly slices this highly intelligent being slowly, showing no empathy or emotion for such obvious and terrible suffering. The footage was later analyzed by a board of scientists whose finding were featured in the Huffington Post: Several veterinarians and behavioral scientists who watched a covertly recorded video wrote, “This killing method… would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world.” That includes Japan, oddly enough.

Japan’s own slaughter guidelines for livestock require that the creature being killed must be made to lose consciousness and be killed by methods “proven to minimize, as much as possible, any agony to the animal.” But those guidelines do not apply to whale and dolphin killing, which is governed by Japan’s Fisheries Agency..

On January 17, 2014 a mega pod of bottlenose dolphins would be driven into the cove. Within the center of this pod was a mother with a rare albino dolphin calf. Mother and daughter clung together until the following morning when at day break International Marine Mammal Animal Trainers and the dolphin hunters roared into the cove to begin three long days of dolphin hell and suffering as mothers and juveniles were separated, the youths were hauled away in slings for over seas SeaWorld’s and marine parks whilst watching their mothers and fathers slowly dying in the red tinged water.

The images of the mega pod slaughter and capture, and the albino dolphin now dubbed, “Angel” would be imprinted on the world forever. As the days of horror unfolded Carolyn Kennedy Ambassador to Japan would Tweet:

Following Carolyn Kennedy’s Tweet on January 22, 2014 Anderson Cooper 360 spoke with Ric O’Barry, director of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project, who argues the killing “is not traditional, it is not cultural, and it’s time to end this.”

Despite the growing awareness and the constant presence of the dolphin activists documenting and reporting on the capture and slaughter against these highly intelligent beings the dolphin drive continues. In addition, while SeaWorld may be failing in the United States because of the powerful documentary “Blackfish” that exposes the truth behind the death of Dawn Branchau and the abuse and exploitation of killer whales they are in fact expanding. SeaWorld has a contract with Samsung to build a mega size dolphinarium in South Korea, the Middle East, and China countries where they would easily be able to purchase wild dolphins captured from Taiji with the support of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums who depend on Taiji wild captured dolphins to stock their display facilities.

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. - Richard O'Barry Take Action Here: http://goo.gl/iEkkTr

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. – Richard O’Barry
Take Action Here: http://goo.gl/iEkkTr

Ric O’Barry has spent a lifetime trying to undo the captive industry that he had helped to design almost a life time ago. Now he stands at the cove along with other activists documenting what was once a secret kept from the world. As the nets were drawn into place by the hunters to hold the dolphins and whales overnight prior to tomorrows early morning selection for marine parks and slaughter, Ric had this to say:

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. -Richard O’Barry

Our voice is their only hope! Don’t buy a ticket and join Ric O’Barry of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project.net and all the brave activists standing up and speaking out about “The Cove”.

Follow this link and contact CNN and let them know that again a huge capture and slaughter of dolphins, and small whales will be taking place in “The Cove” and ask them to cover it! 

Dolphin Talk Radio Interview With Ric O’Barry Star of The Cove!

By Kirsten Massebeau

On August 19 at 12 noon EST Dolphin Talk Radio will be interviewing Ric O’Barry star of, “The Cove” and director of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project. He will be discussing and taking questions on the dolphin drive in Taiji, Japan that begins September 1st, Japan Dolphins Day 2014, WAZA and JAZA’s involvement in Taiji, and the dolphins on display at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. Compose your questions for Ric, and be listening, and ready to call in when the lines open for questions! Please limit one question per caller. (424) 675-8287 

“Ric O’Barry’s mission is to put an end to dolphin exploitation and slaughter once and for all. Dolphins are regularly captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. The Dolphin Project was founded In 1970, a group that aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, free captive dolphins. O’Barry works not only to halt these slaughters in countries around the world, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.

The Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world’s attention to brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary “The Cove,” ; we successfully negotiated for an end to dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands; we and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is cruel.

Ric O’Barry has been working towards there goals for over 40 years, and he continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering. Be sure to stay tuned for information on how you can get involved and make a difference”. (Source, Dolphin Project Facebook)





Hope for Angel: The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project and Australia for Dolphins file Lawsuit Against The Taiji Whale Museum

By Kirsten Massebeau

Together, Sarah Lucas of Australia for Dolphins and Ric O’Barry of The Dolphin Project presented the Taiji Whale Museum with a lawsuit: Takashi Takano, Representative Partner of the Tokyo-based Takano Law Office said: “The Taiji Whale Museum’s conduct is an egregious violation of the Japanese constitution and deeply-held Japanese values. My clients were refused entry to a public place simply because of their appearance. We are confident we can demonstrate this in court.”(source)

January 17, 2014 a mega pod of bottlenose dolphins was driven into Taiji “The Cove” in five large sections. Among the dolphin community was a mother with a rare albino baby dolphin who today is know as “Angel”. Throughout the day and night as Angel and her family awaited the chaos and violence of the coming days she hugged her mother as though she knew the remaining hours of her life with her family and community was going to be taken from her. The following morning when the hunters and trainers arrived their first victim would be Angel. They quickly separated mother from baby, wrangling the rare albino dolphin onto a skiff, taking her directly to the Taiji Whale Museum only minutes from the killing cove where she remains today in a tiny tank harassed by humans and other dolphins. While some say her mother committed suicide, the chances of slaughter were equally as possible. After Angel’s capture three days of torture and hell remained for the 250 plus super pod as the juveniles were captured, their parents and the injured slaughtered and the unwanted driven back out to sea with only a few surviving.

In her article “Taiji Whale Museum Slapped with Lawsuit Over Albino Dolphin Angel” Melissa Cronin quotes the head of the Taiji Whale Museum“The aquariums head Katsumi Hayashi, acknowledges his facility routinely denies entry to non Japanese activists such as members of the Conservation Group Sea Shepherd(SSCS)”. What the  Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums Member(JAZA), Katsumi Hayashi, does not go onto explain is that The Dolphin Project and Australia for Dolphins are in no way affiliated with SSCS. “Action for Angel” is an independent campaign spear headed by Australia for Dolphins, The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins all organizations working hand in hand with Japanese people who oppose dolphin drive fisheries.

Sarah Lucas, CEO of Australia for Dolphins and a plaintiff in the case said: “The Taiji Whale Museum tries to hide its cruel treatment of Angel in a dark indoor tank from the world’s cameras. We hope this action will open up the museum to the sunlight of public scrutiny, and bring about improvements to Angel’s living conditions. (source)

“The Taiji Whale Museum has refused entry to Ric O’Barry, Sarah Lucas knowing they oppose the cruel dolphin drive, and abusive treatment of dolphins at the Taiji Whale Museum and in the bloody cove.

“What we would like to achieve is the same right the Japanese Public has access to the building so we can get inside and see how Angel is doing the rare albino dolphin that was captured. We would just like to see her. They don’t want us to do that. They are hiding something and they are breaking the law in the process of hiding that something”.

Take action now.. Go to #Action4Angel.org and get involved! You are her only hope. #Hope4Angel and all captive dolphins. 

Ric O’Barry & Sarah Lucas: “Will the Japanese Courts Protect the Dolphins of Taiji?”


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Newsweek Engulfed In Social Media Backlash on Eve of Historic WAZA Dolphin Protest


By Kirsten Massebeau

A Newsweek article entitled “A Social Media Storm Descends on Taiji, the Japanese Town at the Center of a Dolphin Slaughter” is on the cover of Newsweek. The cover image depicts a red wave with blue birds flying towards the heavens. The cover states, “Twitter Tsunami, A Japanese Fishing Village Unleashes a Social Media Storm”. Newly resurrected Newsweek author Bill Powell comes on strong painting a romantic picture of a small “fishing village”. He calls the hunt tradition despite the recently revealed information that the dolphin drive began in 1969. Through-out Bill Powell’s Newsweek article he describes the experiences of a “slight elderly woman” who does not understand why dolphin advocates are coming from around the world to speak out for the dolphins captured and slaughtered in “The Cove“. The real truth is hunters and dolphin trainers work side by side sorting through dolphin pods, selecting the juveniles, and slaughtering their parents, the injured, and unwanted by aquariums using a technique called pithing that can be viewed here.

Powell cleverly vilifies the social media movement portraying the dolphin hunters as a group of quiet “fisherman” plagued by the cruel outside world. He uses the word “tsunami” bringing up painful memories for the Japanese people, connecting the term to social media. He continues using the “elderly woman’s” impressions making the hunters and captive industry seem helpless victims of a modern world:

“She also knows that Caroline Kennedy, the high-profile U.S. ambassador to Japan, helped fuel the global outrage with a tweet on January 17, 2014, saying “she was deeply concerned by the “inhumane-ness” of the hunt”. But Isoda, like most members of the local fishing families, is unapologetic-and quietly bitter over how her little fishing village has been vilified by celebrities and civilians all over the world.”

The global anger generated by the annual dolphin drive is the latest example of how social activism is being transformed by technology”.(source)

Angel was the first dolphin removed from the pod. It was rumored that her mother  committed an act of suicide when Angel was ripped from her side. Whether she committed suicide, was slaughtered, or driven back out to sea will never be known. Powell foolishly quotes a dolphin hunter calling albino-ism and illness when in fact it occurs in many species including humans. In addition to claiming a wild albino dolphin who has the protection of her mother, a deep ocean, and a mega pod is better off in a shallow pool with strangers demonstrates his skewed source.

“A local official in Taiji denies that albinos can fetch such an exorbitant price. They’re white “because of disease,” he adds, and thus are actually more likely to survive longer in captivity than in the ocean”.(source)

The above video is Angel being bullied at the Taiji Whale Museum in a cramped tank.

Despite Bill Powell, and Newsweek’s attempt to throw up a smokescreen for Taiji the truth has surfaced and is not going away. When a mega pod of bottlenose dolphins was pushed into the cove this January the world would watch day after day as the juveniles were taken captive and their parents then slaughtered for fertilizer:

“A wild dolphin caught in Taiji, for example, will sell for around $500-600 US for its meat. But a live trained dolphin will sell on the international market for as much as $150,000 US. The huge prices offered by JAZA and WAZA member aquariums for live dolphins sustain the brutal Taiji killing of hundreds of dolphins each year, which would likely collapse without the aquarium trade”.(source) In addition, the meat is toxic and unfit for human consumption despite Bill Powell’s claims!

It seems Newsweek’s Bill Powell has unleashed his own social media backlash as comments of outrage continue to load into the article. Newsweek cannot delete the angry comments of the masses quickly enough, stating their Newsweek subscriptions will be cancelled, calling Newsweek irresponsible, and corrupt.

The release of Bill Powell’s skewed article seems almost strategically released by Newsweek on the eve of a historic event. On March 28, 2014, only hours away, demonstrators will convene at the headquarters of The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) demanding they sever their ties with The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) whose members, specifically the Taiji Whale Museum are trafficking blood dolphins to aquariums worldwide:

“Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project, will attend a demonstration in front of the offices of WAZA in Gland, Switzerland. O’Barry and members of the environmental coalition are expected to be received by WAZA Director, Dr. Gerald Dick, and his lawyer in front of the media, where the environmental coalition will demand the organization expel their “Association Member” Japan Association of Zoos & Aquariums (JAZA), over violations of the WAZA Code of Ethics & Animal Welfare in relation to the brutal Taiji dolphin drive hunts in Japan, fueled and financed by the international dolphin captivity industry, including JAZA and WAZA member aquariums.

Joining Ric O’Barry, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Cetacean Society International and the Swiss nonprofit OceanCare, is Sakae Hemmi of ELSA Nature Conservancy of Japan and one of the first persons to film and publicize the slaughters, along with numerous activists dressed up for the occasion. Ms. Hemmi and Elsa recently pleaded with WAZA Director Dick, in a series of letters from Japan, to stop the subsidizing of the dolphin hunts by aquariums that are members of JAZA and WAZA”.(source)

 Join the event in Switzerland or join us on social media as we move together as one voice sending out a Thunderclap for dolphins, highly intelligent beings, citizens of the ocean, that are being captured and slaughtered in The Cove. All the Bill Powell’s of the world cannot stop the terrible truth of the modern day dolphin horror taking place in Taiji, a dolphins worst nightmare. We are not a social media “tsunami”, we are the light that is shining brighter and brighter as the dark truth about what goes on in the cove is exposed to world in an attempt to end the dolphin death and suffering.

On March 31, 2014 Louie Psiyhoyas director of the academy award winning film has come out in defense of dolphins condemning the slanted article by Newsweek glorifying and romanticizing the brutal slaughter and capture of dolphins for marine parks in Taiji Japan:

[Editor’s Note: The following is a response from Louie Psihoyos, Director of The Cove, to a March 27 Newsweek story by Bill Powell.]

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.

“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, (Read the article and see the unseen raw footage here!)

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Demonstration For Blood Dolphins To Take Place at The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Headquarters In Switzerland

By Kirsten Massebeau

On March 28, 2014 Save the Blood Dolphins and dolphin advocates from all over the world, including Ric O’Barry star of “The Cove” and Director of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project, are planning a huge demonstration at The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) headquarters in Switzerland. The demonstrators are demanding WAZA end their silence and cut ties with the cruel dolphin drive fisheries in Taiji, Japan, and the captive industry that cannot sustain itself without the infusion of wild dolphins: “The number of dolphins bred in captivity does not replace the number that die. They suffer from high mortality rates, low breeding success and often endure physical and psychological disorders. Cetacea are frequently captured from the wild and sold into captivity.”(source)

“The goal of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums is to guide, encourage and support the zoos, aquariums and like-minded organisations of the world in animal care and welfare, environmental education and global conservation.“(source)

September is known as WAZA month. Bottlenose dolphins driven into the cove in September the first month of the drive will not be slaughtered if unwanted according to the WAZA protocol. Dolphin trainers, work side by side with the dolphin hunters of the ISANA Dolphin Hunters Union selecting the young most beautiful dolphins. In accordance with the WAZA dolphin protocol during the month of September the remaining pod of bottlenose dolphins are driven back out to sea a brutal process many dolphins do not survive. Despite WAZA proclaiming September aquaria month other small whales and dolphin species are in fact slaughtered during the month of September.

Even with the 2009 release of the academy award-winning film The Cove, and daily reports from advocates on the ground, the brutal dolphin drive continues with the capture for aquariums increasing every year:

“Although JAZA’s new policy may be portrayed as a step forward in addressing one element of the hunts (acquisition of live dolphins for captivity), we believe this policy will actually undermine dolphin protection in Japan. And because there is no enforcement or monitoring capability within WAZA, or JAZA for that matter, we believe this policy has more to do with providing public relations cover for WAZA by diverting focus away from Taiji and its dolphin slaughter”.(source)

In January of 2014 the worlds eyes, including the people of Japan would turn to Taiji questioning the terrible suffering and it’s role supplying marine parks and aquariums. A large pod of approximately 200 to 250 bottlenose dolphins was driven into the cove by the Taiji dolphins hunters. Within the pod was a rare albino dolphin who clung to her mother as the hunters pushed section, after section of dolphins into the cove netting them off overnight. The following day would begin four days of manhandling, blood shed, and suffering as dolphin families were ripped apart, the children taken for lives marine parks and aquariums, the larger members slaughtered for fertilizer, and the unwanted brutally driven back out to sea. The albino baby was the first ripped from her mothers side and netted for captivity. Known as Angel the albino dolphin is now housed at the Taiji, Whale Museum where she was recently visited by Ric O’Barry. Learn more about Angel’s plight in Ric O’Barry’s Blog “An Angel in Hell”.

The 2013/2014 drive season made it more apparent than ever that the captive industry is keeping the dolphin drive alive yet WAZA remains silent along with their sister organization, The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums(JAZA), ironically on their board of Animal Welfare Committee, who continues to work closely with brokers of blood dolphins, The Taiji Whale Museum and Dolphin Base Resort who work directly with the ISANA Dolphin Hunters Union.

Taiji dolphin hunters continue to claim their hunt is “traditional” but several sources dispute this fact. In a recent editorial The Japan Times posted and editorial countering this claim:

“Tradition and culture are forces that change in accordance with new scientific understanding and evolving ethical standards. In addition, the Taiji hunt didn’t even become institutionalized on a large scale until 1969, so its roots are quite shallow.”(source)

“In a recent interview Ric O’Barry had this to say: “The number of dolphins caught last year for captivity was tremendous: about 250. The season before, only 50 dolphins were captured for captivity”.(Source)

Please join the event! Demonstration against the Japanese drive hunts and cetaceans in captivity – WAZA must put an end to these practices! Through its failure to act, WAZA is responsible for the genocide, capture and abuse of dolphins migrating past Taiji, Japan!

When :March 28th 2014 from 1pm to 3pm

Where: WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Executive Office –Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland – 

Update March 15, 2014 via Ric O’Barry: “Elsa Nature Conservancy will join us at the demo and the meeting with the director of WAZA, Dr. Gerald Dick”.(source)
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