July 5, 2011 by Ric O'Barry, Earth Island Institute




on Sept. 1st, 2011


Dear Friends:

     We hope you and your organization will again sign on to celebrate Japan Dolphins Day by organizing a positive, celebratory event in your city for Sept. 1st (or thereabouts), preferably near your local Japanese Embassy or Consulate office.

     Our hearts go out to the people in Japan who have been and are still impacted by the recent earthquake and it's aftermath, but it's our job to make sure that Japan dolphins are not forgotten.  We intend to make this a positive event and will do everything we can to point out the many things we love about Japan.  We encourage all others to stay positive and respectful.

     Feel free to be creative!  And plan to send us photos and links of any media coverage you receive.



     As most of you know, the capture and slaughter of dolphins takes place in the infamous cove in Taiji, Japan, every year on or shortly after September 1st.

     The Taiji dolphin hunters, and the dolphin trainers, will capture and kill about 2000 dolphins in the cove from September through April (although last year they appeared to end the hunts a month early, with fewer dolphins killed – we are having an effect!).

     We can do something to end this massacre.  We can let the Japanese government and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) know that these crimes against nature are unacceptable to the rest of the world.  We can speak out against this atrocity loudly and clearly - and in a positive way!


A POSITIVE EVENT for Japan Dolphins:

     Considering Japan's recent and ongoing tragedy, we need to be careful not to appear to be targeting Japan or the Japanese people.  We are trying, instead, to spotlight the killing of dolphins in Taiji, as well as throughout Japan.  See our cautionary note on messaging below.

     It may be more effective to get people to be FOR something than AGAINST something. Some NGO's will not participate in a protest.  So, our plan is to organize an international day of celebration in several cities around the world.  The goal is to make this the biggest global event celebrating Japan dolphins yet.

     Please note that this will be an all-inclusive event.  In other words, the celebration will not take place under the umbrella of any one group.  The event will be carried out by all of us, on a equal basis.  Each group represents itself and will contact the media in their city with their own press release.  All participating groups can be listed in the press release in alphabetical order.

     Because of the international acclaim for the Academy Award Winning movie, The Cove, the world will again be watching the cove on September 1st.  Let's not miss this great opportunity to bring world attention to this urgent issue on opening day.

     Everyone is encouraged to participate. You don't have to be part of a group.  Ordinary citizens, families, students, teachers, bands, clubs, anyone and everyone should show up.

     If you only do one thing for the environment this year, please do this one thing!



     Ric O’Barry and the Save Japan Dolphins Team will be in Taiji, Japan, at the Cove on Sept. 1st, the beginning of the annual dolphin slaughter there.  We are encouraging people from around the world to join us there on Sept. 1st.  If you can’t join us in Taiji, organize or join an event in your city for Celebrate Japan Dolphins Day.



     Laura Bridgeman of our Earth Island staff will be coordinating this year’s events around the world by posting a Facebook Causes Page (Celebrate Japan Dolphins Day 9/1/2011) where you and the general public can get information of events to join them.


     If you can help organize an event, please contact Laura with the following information:

  1. Date, Time and Place of Your Event
  2. Name of your Organization (if applicable)
  3. Name and E-mail address of contact person for the public (and telephone number, if you wish)
  4. For Media, Name and E-mail address of contact person (and telephone number, if you wish)
  5. Briefly outline your plans for your event
  6. Names, organizations, and contact information for any additional groups helping with your event

Contact Laura Bridgeman


Questions?  Mark J Palmer

            Ric O’Barry




     As Japan has been devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami, direct criticism of Japan for killing dolphins and whales would help the Japan Fisheries Agency to claim environmentalists are uncaring about people, etc.  We strongly urge you to make your message a positive one: 

  • Dolphins and whales in the wild are worth more alive than dead.
  • Captivity kills!  Don’t buy a ticket to a dolphinarium.
  • We support the Japanese peoples’ right to know about contamination of dolphin and whale meat, so our concerns include the welfare of the people of Japan, whom we don’t want to eat meat laced with mercury and radioactivity.
  • Japan can rebuild its damaged economy using eco-tourism and green policies rather than perpetuating the dolphin hunts of the past.
  • Many Japanese don't know about the drive fishery killing of dolphins and actually oppose it when they understand what is happening.
  • Tourism is a major industry in Japan, and most of Japan, which is unaffected by the tsunami's devastating impact on Japan's northeast coast, welcomes visitors, including many new and growing whale- and dolphin-watching operations.
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