By Ric O’Barry
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute
I’m pleased to announce that a new television series, Blood Dolphins, will start on August 27th on Animal Planet. My son Lincoln is the director of this mini-series on the efforts of Earth Island Institute and me around the world to protect dolphins.
The first show airs on Animal Planet on Friday, August 27th at 11 PM EST/PST, following the season finale of Paul Watson’s Whale Wars.
Lincoln and I and our small Save Japan Dolphins crew go back to Taiji for the first time since the release of The Cove movie. At first, the mission appears to work – the hunt is delayed, and a covert swim to the Cove itself shows no apparent preparations to resume the slaughter. But after we leave, we hear that dolphins have again been herded into the killing cove, and we return, this time undercover, to see what is happening in Taiji, the little town with the big secret.
On August 29th, The Cove movie itself will be shown on Animal Planet for the first TV screening in the US. This will be a chance for many to see The Cove for the first time. It airs at 9 PM EST/PST.
On Fridays, Sept. 3rd and 10th, Blood Dolphins will air at 9 PM. These next two shows feature our efforts in the Solomon Islands to protect dolphins and stop trafficking in wild dolphins.
In recent years, the Solomon Islands has emerged as a major crossroads in the blood trade in wild dolphins. Dolphin dealing is legal there and has sparked a gold rush among poverty stricken indigenous tribes who have hunted dolphins for centuries and who use dolphin teeth as a form of currency. For Lincoln and I, a mission to The Solomon Islands brings intrigue and danger, as well as high hopes. The most prominent dealer in the islands – a long time dolphin nemesis named Chris Porter – has made overtures to Earth Island, claiming he is ready to quit the business. It could be the opening we need to shut down the captive trade. But to make it pay off, our Save Japan Dolphins team must face down a rival dealer and broker a deal with the native dolphin hunters to stop killing dolphins.
Part Two continues in the Solomon Islands, where our delicate negotiations with the dolphin hunting villages are nearly derailed when a letter signed by several chiefs and parliament members is made public. The letter contains a clear warning that Lincoln and I and our entire team should stay away from the island of Malaita. Soon, however, Lincoln and I discover the letter is a hoax. We proceed to the island and finally enter into an historic agreement with one of the villages to stop hunting dolphins. It is a rare, tangible victory in the fight to save dolphins.
Of course, these showings will also be repeated on Animal Planet later in the year.
This will be an exciting series, and will showcase our work to protect dolphins to the whole world.