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Beyond the Cove

Ric O’Barry: The Dolphin Project

The Academy Award, that’s the Japanese government’s worst nightmare.
– Ric O’Barry


Ric O’Barry, trainer of 1960s TV superstar dolphin Flipper, began his career happily training and working with marine mammals. However, after a life-changing moment watching one of these captive creatures die in his arms, he vowed to end the very practice in which he himself had been so involved.

This Green Hero has proven to be as good as his word. Most people know Ric O’Barry in the 2010 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove. But his journey to fame as an animal rights activist began in 1970 on the very first Earth Day. This is when he founded the original “Dolphin Project” and has since been an outspoken advocate for the rights of dolphins, especially their right to live freely.

The Cove saw Ric with a team from the Oceanic Preservation Society travel to Japan and plan underwater footage to record the slaughter of hundreds of dolphins on film. This footage brought this awful practice to international attention and has affected real change.

• Photography courtesy of the Dolphin Project Archive
The Cove film clips courtesy of the Oceanic Preservation Society
Welcome to Taiji film clips courtesy of Ric O’Barry
• Music by Donna Britton

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