Thousands of dolphins and porpoises are slaughtered each year in Taijii, Japan.

The meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is sold throughout Japan and some parts of Asia. The Japanese people are largely unaware of this situation.

The Cove, a groundbreaking documentary about this horrific secret, last night won Best Documentary . This is the best news ever.

You can find details of the movie and trailers here.

Here is a message from Ric O’Barry and the Save Japan Dolphins Campaign.

If you watched the Oscars, you saw me and Director Louie Psihoyos accept the Best Documentary awarded by the Academy. Wow, what an incredible moment!

Without your support, this would never have happened. So, even though I wasn’t able to thank you all at the podium, I thank you all now.

But this has never been about winning awards. Our job is to end the slaughter and stop the poisoning. And now our work in Japan begins anew. We must focus like a laser on getting The Cove and our message to the Japanese people.

But there are threats on the horizon. Officials in Japan are threatening repercussions against university and community groups that dare to show The Cove. Dolphin-killing fishermen’s unions are threatening lawsuits against theaters that show the film. There are even some signs that I could face arrest in Japan, even though I’ve broken no laws whatsoever.

We wont give in to this pressure. Instead, I am making plans to spend months in Japan with our Save Japan Dolphins Team. I want to be wherever we can find an audience. Our message will particularly resonate with young people, to whom we need to reach out with the dangers of mercury-contaminated dolphin meat and the slaughter of dolphins they love as much as we do.

If you can help me, it will make a world of difference.

The Oscar telecast is the most-watched TV show in Japan! And they, and more than a billion other viewers, saw The Cove movie win!

But now I also need your help in sending a clear message to Japan’s Minister of State for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety, that the sale of mercury-laden dolphin meat must end now: Sign and send the petition at: thepetitionsite.com/4/ban-the-sale-of-dolphin-meat.

We need help in promoting the Japanese version of The Cove in the next weeks before The Cove opens at Japanese theaters. We need help for travel, video promotion, website outreach, legal defense, and screening The Cove outside of theaters in libraries, universities, and town halls in Japan.

Japan has 126 million people; only 600 have seen The Cove so far. Those who saw it were shocked and dismayed that this slaughter was happening in their country. We need to enlist their help and the help of millions of their fellow citizens to stop the Japanese government from issuing 23,000 permits annually to slaughter dolphins. We need to seize on the momentum now to pursue an end to the slaughter, once and for all!

Will you help us get the truth out?

Thank you for your generous support of our efforts!
Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins Campaign

P.S. The Save Japan Dolphins Campaign and Earth Island Institute do not get any funds from The Cove movie sales. (Those funds go to the OPS, which made the film, and their investors to reimburse them for their considerable costs in making The Cove.)

P.P.S. If you think there is any possibility that you might be able to come over to Taiji on September 1st to celebrate the beauty of Taiji and let them know that the killing of dolphins shouldn’t start again, please note that on the comment field on the donation form.

12 thoughts on “The Cove wins an Oscar!

  1. I was also happy to see “The Cove” win! Did you see the news that the filmmakers busted an LA restaurant ? From AOL News (March 9) — “These Oscar winners have a lot on their plate. The makers of “The Cove” arrived in Hollywood to accept a best documentary award for the film, which chronicles the horrors of dolphin hunting in a small Japanese fishing village. But that wasn’t the only reason the team was in town. By the time they hit the red carpet Sunday, the filmmakers say they had already caught a swanky restaurant serving whale meat in an undercover sting operation that could end in a federal indictment.”

    I love that they are using their power for purposes of good!

    1. Ha,ha – no I missed that news clip Bryan, thanks for that. I know they turned the music up and panned the camera away before their speech was finished because Ric O Barry (who trained Flipper many years ago and then fought for no dolphins in captivity) put up a sign with a phone number on it, saying to text dolphin.

  2. great post, gabrielle. i hope this will do what was intended, to enlighten the public, and get forces moving to put a final end to the bloody awful cruelty. its unbelievable that permits on that scale are/were being issued. useless needless horror that it is.

    1. Thanks tipota. They do still get the permits. There are so many issues within this one thing (sustainability, cruelty, pollution via the foodchain). I really feel there is a chance that something might change for this issue, but maybe I’m dreaming.

  3. Hi Gabrielle. I think I saw a film on PBS some time back about the making of this film–definitely recall the bloody waters from the images of the slaughter.
    Thank you for raising awareness.

  4. It is just incredible that this type of thing is tolerated by the global community. Sometimes I think the Japanese have lost their minds. The excuses they come up with for what is actually extreme animal cruelty are so insulting to the intelligence of all of us that they are akin to a schoolboy writing a note for his teacher that says his dog ate his homework. I am saddened and maddened equally. This, along with the whales, is causing me to lose respect for a country and culture I actually adore.

    1. I have no problem with indigenous groups hunting for survival but when it comes to places where there are so many other sources of food, there is no excuse to kill one of the most intelligent, sociable and amazing creatures that we have on this plane. I think the producers of the movie are incredibly brave.

  5. i think i read an article on The Times a couple of weeks back, scientists lobbying for dolphins to be given the same rights as humans..on the basis of their higher intelligence. not exactly human rights, but protection at least.

    i’ve been re-vegeterian again for a couple of months now, and not missing meat at all…i havent seen the trailer and am completely out of the loop with the oscars, but it seems pretty worthy to me.

    1. It’s a different type of documentary – like a James Bond undercover operation. The fishermen herd the dolphins into the cove to kill them (unlike the usual fishing operations) which is so cruel as the family groups are all together and aware of the whole horrible thing. I think killing cows, sheep etc., is a lot different to killing wild dolphins and whales – as long as they are treated alright when alive (which often they are not, of course – but that is another blog in itself).

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