The Cove shows brutal treatment of dolphins

July 31, 2009 9:27:11 PM PDT
Bay Area environmentalists and movie makers have joined forces on a documentary about hunting and killing dolphins in Japan. The movie "The Cove" opens next week, and it's a very different type of documentary.

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It's filled with espionage -- "The Cove," it turns out, is cast as a thriller. But this time it's James Bond meets Flipper.

The cove is where thousands of dolphins are herded every year and then stabbed to death. It is hidden big business, and they don't what anybody around.

"It's hard to get in there. Barbed wire, blocked off, patrols and so that's why they had to take this approach of sort of secreting in there," said Kevin Connelly from the Earth Island Institute.

Calling themselves an Ocean's 11 team, the filmmakers invaded in darkness with high tech equipment.

Rick O'Barry trained the dolphins for the TV series Flipper. He is now with Berkeley's Earth Island Institute's save Japan Dolphins Coalition and he's on a crusade for their freedom.

"I feel somewhat responsible because it was the flipper TV series that created this multibillion dollar industry," said O'Barry.

It's not just about dolphins as entertainment. There is a health hazard that dolphin meat sold in Japan has exceedingly high levels of mercury.

At Earth Island Institute, they expect the film will bring outrage.

"The filmmakers who made this film have been very open to us using this to leverage it into social action," Connelly.

O'Barry told ABC7 by phone ultimately it is up to the people of Japan to stop the dolphin slaughter. they are just unaware. A Japanese language version of the film is in production, and "The Cove" opens in the Bay Area next Friday.

Related Links:

  • Earth Island Twitter page
  • The Cove Twitter page
  • The Cove movie

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