Posted by: learnaboutdolphins | November 12, 2011

The Truth of What is Occurring in “The Cove”

1960s Flipper TV Poster

Many of you have probably seen, or at least heard of Flipper. For those of you what do not know what Flipper is, it is a 1960s TV show about a Florida park ranger and his kids who befriend a bottlenose dolphin.

The man who captured the multiple dolphins used to play ‘Flipper,’ is a world famous dolphin trainer and Marine Mammal Specialist named Richard O’Barry. For those of you who follow my blog, you probably recognize that name for a different reason. Ric O’Barry caused the dolphin industry to be what it is today, a multi-million dollar industry, but what many of you probably do not know is that for the last 40 years he has been working with Earth Island Institute to stop the industry from keeping dolphins in captivity and to stop merciless dolphin slaughters going on in the world.

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that when O’Barry’s dolphin Kathy, one of the five dolphins that portrayed ‘Flipper’ in the TV series, committed suicide, he changed his mission in life from building up the dolphin industry to tearing it down. This unfortunate incident made O’Barry realize that dolphins do not belong in captivity, but instead they belong in the ocean. Ric O’Barry stated in an interview with Time magazine,

The suicide was what turned me around. The [animal entertainment] industry doesn’t want people to think dolphins are capable of suicide, but these are self-aware creatures with a brain larger than a human brain. If life becomes so unbearable, they just don’t take the next breath. It’s suicide.

The suicide of Kathy led O’Barry to freeing captured dolphins and letting the go free in the ocean. Once he looked into where the dolphins were being captured he found a tiny fishing town in Japan, with a very big secret. Not only were they capturing dolphins and selling them to dolphin trainers and theme parks around the world, but the dolphins that were not chosen to spend the rest of there lives in captivity were brutally murdered.

Taiji, Japan is a small fishing community located on the southern part of the Japanese archipelago, island group, at the tip of the peninsula that extends into the Pacific Ocean. Today, it is famous for being the fishing town that brutally murders dolphin for various reasons giving out by these fisherman. This community become known from the Academy Award winning documentary The Cove. The Cove revealed the secret that these fisherman were trying to keep.

Taiji, Japan

For those of you who have not seen The Cove I would like to recommend it to you, it is an amazing documentary that really opens your eyes to what is happening to these innocent creatures. The Cove reveals how the fisherman capture the dolphins, as well as how they murder them. For those of you who do not know I will explain the process to you.

The fishermen capture these dolphins using a technique called “the wall of sound.” This is a technique that has been mastered by these fishermen. The start off by studying the migration patterns of the dolphins. So when the dolphins are migrating through the fishermen go out in multiple boats on the outside of where the dolphins are swimming. Attached to these boats are long metal rods, this is crucial and leads to the dolphins weakness. The fishermen start banging on these rods with hammers creating a noise that stresses the dolphins out and causes them to swim away, and the only place they have to swim in towards shore because the fishermen have created it so they have no where to go, so they swim into ‘the cove.’

Once the dolphins are corralled into ‘the cove’ the fishermen put out nets so that they can not escape. The next day dolphin trainers from around the world come and choose the dolphins that they want to star in there dolphin shows. Once this process is over and the dolphins are flow to there new lives in captivity, the brutality truly begins.

Here is a clip from The Cove, showing the “wall of sound”

As sad as it may seem, that is the least brutal part of the whole process. This next part is very vicious. According to PETA,

In Japan, fishers round up and slaughter approximately 23,000 dolphins and small whales each year. In the small fishing village of Taiji, entire schools of dolphins are driven into a hidden cove after a prolonged chase. Once trapped inside the cove, the fishers kill the dolphins by cutting their throats with knives or stabbing them with spears. The water turns red with the dolphin’s blood, and the air is filled with their screams. This horrific massacre goes on for six months every year.

Here is a clip from The Cove of the dolphins being murdered, just beware that this content is very violent.

As you can see what they are doing is immoral and wrong! We need to stop these murders before we kill an entire species of animals. We need to stop these slaughters before it is too late!



  1. I found this post to be really touching since dolphins are such innocent animals to humans. I don’t see how people could do such things to animals and be so cruel. Dolphins have never harmed us and therefore, we should respect and leave them free.

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