If you haven't had a chance to see The Cove, a 2009 documentary about dolphin slaughter off the coast of Japan, you should track it down. Pretty gruesome stuff. However, everything seems to be turning around with the film's publicity, as shown by a recent article in ecoworldly.com:
Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji's Cove Suspended
Ric O’Barry reports that the horrific annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji has been suspended due to publicity from the film, The Cove.
September 1st usually marks the first day of the year for the brutal killings, but for the first time the Japanese media has arrived in Taiji en masse, causing the local fishermen to pause while the world takes notice.
O’Barry has been trying to raise awareness in Japan about the secretive dolphin slaughter that takes place in the small fishing town of Taiji for years, but the Japanese media has refused to cover it. Until now.
“Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season in Japan. But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with media representatives from all over the world, the notorious Cove from the movie was empty. There were no dolphin killers in sight. So today is a good day for dolphins!”, wrote O’Barry today in a report for the activist social network, TakePart.
He also said that when the Japanese police arrived, they merely shook his hand and told him they there were not there to support the “dolphin killing fishermen”, then left.
Despite all of his trials in the town, O’Barry believes strongly that Taiji can change its shameful image. He hopes to show the media around the town tomorrow, to encourage a more positive view of its people and potential. O’Barry sees an opportunity to turn the disgraced town into a place where dolphins are cherished rather than slaughtered. In time, he thinks Taiji could become a model for dolphin activism and education, raising awareness about dolphins much in the same way that Nantucket, once the center of the whaling industry in the U.S., has changed its image by stopping the killing and marketing to whale-watchers instead.
Even though the media is finally taking notice, keeping the movement alive over time will still take a great commitment from those who care about dolphins. You can help by donating to the Save the Dolphins Coalition, which you can do at savejapandolphins.org.
Amazing, the power of film.