By Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director
International Marine Mammal Project
Earth Island Institute
Ric O’Barry and Save Japan Dolphins Coalition Work to Save Dolphins, Thank Broome Shire Council
Ric O’Barry, Director of Save Japan Dolphins Coalition and star of the hit documentary “The Cove”, successfully convinced the Shire Council of Broome, Australia, to suspend its 1981 sister-city relationship with Taiji, Japan, the town where thousands of dolphins have been slaughtered in secret. Furthermore, the story has broken the silence of Japanese media about the dolphin slaughter, with stories about Broome action in NHK, Asahi Shimbun, and other Japanese outlets.
O’Barry later praised Shire President Graeme Campbell and the Council: “The action of the Shire of Broome have moved us a step closer to abolishing the world's largest dolphin slaughter.. Broome is on the right side of history. Thank you.”
The Coalition and O’Barry were quick to also praise the work of local environmental leaders in Australia, including Gary Adshead and the Western Australian newspaper for exposing the story of Taiji dolphin slaughter in Australia. More than fifty citizens in the Council chambers’ public gallery gave the Shire Council a standing ovation after the decision on Saturday, August 22nd. Thanks also to Louie Psihoyos, Director of “The Cove”, who also pushed the city of Broome to suspend their sister-city relationship.
Ric O’Barry recently toured Australia to promote the movie “The Cove”, about the efforts of O’Barry and Save Japan Dolphins Coalition to expose the largest dolphin slaughter in the world. “The Cove” is now opening in Australia, after receiving numerous awards at film festivals, including the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and critical praise. While in Australia, O’Barry screened “The Cove” for the citizens of Broome and appealed directly to Shire President Campbell.
“We believe and hope the Japanese people, when they learn the dirty secrets of ‘The Cove’, will help stop the slaughter of dolphins and whales once and for all,” stated David Phillips, Executive Director of Earth Island Institute, a member of the Save Japan Dolphins Coalition.
Added Dr. Elliot Katz, President of In Defense of Animals: “The action by the Broome Shire Council underscores their deep feelings from seeing the slaughter of these intelligent animals..”
“We thank the Broome Shire Council and all the thousands of people, from Australians to the world, who contacted them to protect the dolphins and whales of Japan,” said Susan Millward, Executive Director of the Animal Welfare Institute.
A team from Save Japan Dolphins Coalition will return to Taiji, Japan, shortly, in time for the annual dolphin slaughter, which is scheduled to begin September 1st.
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The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition consists of Earth Island Institute, Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan, OceanCare, In Defense of Animals, Campaign Whale, and the Animal Welfare Institute.