The Academy Award wining documentary, The Cove, premiered on Animal Planet about a week ago. I first heard of it while watching The Oscars last year. After the short clip played during the program, I knew I had to see the movie. I also knew it would likely be difficult to watch. And that was proven last night when I finally watched The Cove.
Please visit www.thecovemovie.com to learn anything you may want to know about the atrocities that are happening in Tiaji, Japan. While on the site you can also learn how you can help by either donating or simply spreading the word. Even being informed is a way to aide in the elimination of these horrific murders happening still today. I always knew in the back of my head that places like Sea World, dolphin shows, swimming with the dolphin excursions were not in the best interest of the animals. But now that I saw this movie, I can say to you without a doubt in my being that I will never participate in any venture that enables the practices of what I witnessed in this documentary. I will never attend Sea World. I will never swim with the dolphins while at some resort in Jamaica. Hell, I am pretty close to saying no way to ever going to a zoo again. If this is how they obtain dolphins for simple amusement, I cannot fool myself into thinking the retrieving and treatment of zoo animals can be much different. So simply by being more informed than I was a mere 24 hours ago, I feel I can be part of the movement to make this stop.
I hope you will find your own way to be part of this movement as well. I will add links below with more information of different organizations committed to ending this horrifying “secret” in Taiji.
I believe many people by now know of the events of which I speak. In case you do not…here is a short synopsis from The OPS Society (linked below):
The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) produced its first film, The Cove , which has garnered over 70 awards globally, including the 2009 Academy Award for best documentary. An annual dolphin massacre in a secret cove in Taiji, Japan suggests a microcosm of a larger picture, man’s disregard for life. The theme broadens – coal-burning facilities multiply across the planet, leading to high mercury levels in seafood, man’s primary source of protein.
The Cove follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action.
The Cove is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.
And from Wikipedia:
The movie follows former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry‘s quest to document the dolphin hunting operations in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. In the 1960s, O’Barry helped capture and train the five wild dolphins who shared the role of “Flipper” in the hit television series of the same name. The show, a pop-culture phenomenon, fueled widespread public adoration of dolphins, influencing the development of marine parks that included dolphins in their attractions. After one of the dolphins, in O’Barry’s opinion, committed a form of suicide in his arms by closing her blowhole voluntarily in order to suffocate, O’Barry came to see the dolphin’s captivity as a curse, not a blessing. Days later, he was arrested off the island of Bimini, attempting to cut a hole in the sea pen in order to set free a captured dolphin. Since then, according to the film, O’Barry has dedicated himself full-time as an advocate on behalf of dolphins around the world.
After meeting with O’Barry, Psihoyos and his crew travel to the small town of Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonder of the dolphins and whales that swim off the town’s coast. In a nearby, isolated cove, however, surrounded by wire fences and “Keep Out” signs, an activity takes place that the townspeople attempt to hide from the public. In the cove a group of Taiji fishermen engage in dolphin drive hunting.
The film states that the dolphin hunt is, in a large part, motivated by the tremendous revenue generated for the town by selling some of the captured dolphins to aquariums and marine parks. The dolphins that are not sold into captivity are then slaughtered in the cove by the fishermen and the meat is sold in supermarkets. According to anecdotal evidence presented in the film, most Japanese throughout Japan are unaware of the hunt or the marketing of dolphin meat. The film states that the dolphin meat contains dangerously high levels of mercury and profiles local Japanese politicians who have, for that reason, advocated the removal of dolphin meat from local school lunches.
Attempts to view or film the dolphin culling in the cove are physically blocked by local volunteers who treat the visitors with open intimidation, derision, and anger. Foreigners who come to Taiji, including The Cove’s film crew, are shadowed and questioned by the local police. In response, together with the Oceanic Preservation Society, Psihoyos, O’Barry, and the crew utilize special tactics and technology to covertly film what is taking place in the cove.
The film also reports on the alleged “buying” by Japan of votes in the International Whaling Commission. The film indicates that while Dominica has withdrawn from the IWC, Japan has recruited the following nations to its whaling agenda: Cambodia, Ecuador, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Laos, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This is not entirely accurate, however, as the nation of Ecuador has been a strong opponent of whaling. At the end of the film, O’Barry marches into a meeting of the Commission carrying a TV showing footage of the Taiji dolphin slaughter. O’Barry walks around the crowded meeting room displaying the images until he is escorted from the room.
Below is a trailer from the movie. I do hope you take the time to watch the whole thing as well.Vodpod videos no longer available.
To learn more or find out how to help:
Follow on Twitter for up to date news (the dolphin hunting season started this week)
- Closely watched village frees most dolphins (sfgate.com)
- Taiji Opens Season on Dolphins Today (treehugger.com)
- Threats keep dolphin protest out of Japan village (omg.yahoo.com)
- Ric O’Barry: ‘The Cove’ Star Cancels Trip To Taiji, Japan Amid Threats, Annual Dolphin Hunt Begins (huffingtonpost.com)
- Animal Planet’s Blood Dolphins: Continuing The Work of The Cove (seattlepi.com)