About Us (SaveJapanDolphins.org)

Ric O'Barry is the director of SaveJapanDolphins.org, a campaign conducted by the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute. SaveJapanDolphins.org was formed to put an end to the Japanese drive fishery slaughter of dolphins and stop the capture and live trade of dolphins to zoos and aquariums around the world.
The work of Ric and the Save Japan Dolphins team was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary The Coveas well as in Animal Planet Channel's Blood Dolphin$ series.
Save Japan Dolphins is active in creating worldwide pressure against the Japanese dolphin slaughter, generating petitions with more than 2 million signatures from 151 countries. The team is also involved in investigations and monitoring at the Cove and in exposing the toxic mercury in Japanese dolphin meat products.

Recent Announcements

  • BLOG | First Hearing in Court Case Against Dolphin Town.

    Australia for Dolphins/Earth Island Media Alert

    July 4, 2014 by Mark Palmer, Save Japan Dolphins

    Australia for Dolphins/Earth Island Media Alert

    The first hearing in the legal battle against the prefecture government of Taiji as manager of the Taiji Whale Museum took place today in Wakayama District Court under Judge Shin-ichi Hashimoto. The lawsuit asserts that the Taiji Whale Museum violated the Japanese Constitution when it turned away foreign visitors earlier this year due to their appearance.

    The hearing today was an initial hearing, and there are likely to be several more hearings before a judgement is made. In a statement to the court, the lawyer representing Australia for Animals and Earth Island's Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins Campaign, Takashi Takano, said, "Is Japan a country open to the world? This is the issue questioned in this case… The museum is a public institute run by our taxes… It is unforgivable for them to accept only those whose thoughts are likable for them. It is against various statutes including the Constitution and International Covenants on Human Rights.”

    A statement was given by Sarah Lucas, plaintiff and CEO of Australia for Dolphins. Ms. Lucas described visiting the Museum with her father, Alastair Lucas, who is a businessman and philanthropist in Australia. She said that her ticket was purchased by a Japanese colleague, and she did not see the ticket officer. However, shortly after entering, Ms. Lucas said she and her father were “rudely and aggressively escorted from the premises, and were not offered refunds”. She said that her father and her had been quietly observing the dolphin show and “were not doing anything wrong”.

    Ms. Lucas told the court that, as they had been unable to view the Museum, she and her father visited again several days later. Ms. Lucas said that they had never seen or spoken to the ticket officer on duty before but, with a single glance, the ticket officer produced a sign saying “no anti-whalers are allowed inside the Museum”. Ms. Lucas said the sign was written in large English letters and seemed to be intended only for foreigners. She said the ticket officer was not at all rude or impolite, and seemed very reluctant and embarrassed about using the sign.

    Ms. Lucas added she did not consider herself to be an anti-whaler: “I do not know what the Museum means by the term “anti-whaler”, and I do not consider myself to be one. I might be termed “anti-whaling”. I am certainly not “anti-whaler” or anti any other human."

    Posted Jul 22, 2014, 3:03 AM by Vidar Oceanus

    July 10, 2014 by Laura Bridgeman

    It's that time of year again - time to get ready for Japan Dolphins Day 2014 on Sept. 1st!

    We hope you can join individuals, activists and organizations all around the world to participate in this international day of action. See the map below to find an event near you. If you don't see one in your area, we hope you will organize one! Email dolphinproject@earthisland.org to get started.

    See our blog for more details on this year's Japan Dolphins Day.

    Posted Jul 22, 2014, 2:54 AM by Vidar Oceanus
  • Help support our efforts in Japan to stop the killing of dolphins:

    TAKE ACTION | Support Us on the Frontlines in Japan.


    Help support our efforts in Japan to stop the killing of dolphins:

    We need to expand efforts in Japan to monitor the Cove, get the translated copies of the Oscar-winning movie The Cove into the hands of the Japanese public and key decisionmakers, and increase worldwide pressure on Japan to end the largest killing of dolphins in the world.

    With your tax-deductible donation, we'll send you a DVD of the The Cove, as well as other great gifts!

    Posted Jul 22, 2014, 2:18 AM by Vidar Oceanus

    Ric O’Barry – Campaign Director, Save Japan Dolphins

    Marine mammal specialist and Earth Island Institute staffmember Richard (Ric) O'Barry has worked with dolphins for the vast majority of his life. He spent the first 10 years of his career in the dolphin captivity industry and the past 38 years fighting against it. Most recently, Ric's biopic, The Cove, won an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary in 2010.

    Working for Miami Seaquarium in the 1960s, Ric was responsible for capturing and training dolphins, including five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American television series of the same name. When one of the famed dolphins, Cathy, died suddenly in his arms, Ric decided that taking dolphins out of their natural habitat and training them to perform tricks is wrong.

    From that moment on, Ric knew he must rededicate himself to a new cause. On the first Earth Day in1970, Ric founded the Dolphin Project, an organization that aims to free captive dolphins and to educate people throughout the world about the plight of dolphins in captivity. Ric believes that this campaign exposes the public to what really goes on at dolphin shows and urges people not to support such forms of entertainment. By stopping the flow of money, Ric hopes to put an end to the captivity industry. This created much hostility toward him by those who stood to profit from the continued exploitation of dolphins.

    Posted Jul 22, 2014, 2:13 AM by Vidar Oceanus
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