Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Cove...the movie


Go see it..... The Cove it is disturbing and difficult to watch some parts but is an eye opening movie. Ric O’Barry, who was an actor and trainer of Flipper - one of my favorite childhood TV shows, tells of his close relationship with those dolphins, the 4 stars of Flipper.

It was this show in fact that initiated a worldwide fascination with dolphins and other oceanic mammals that has grown to a multi billion dollar global industry.

When Kathy (the main Flipper dolphin - I always thought Flipper was a boy) "committed suicide" in his arms as a result of what he feels was a miserable life in captivity he had a fundamental awakening about dolphins in captivity. These animals are emotional, very intelligent, capable of deep feelings and self awareness and are migratory animals. They do not belong in captivity. He began a crusade of freeing dolphins and soon discovered a town in Japan Tajji.

Upon arrival Tajji seems to be like any other small coastal village with murals, boats and statues of dolphins and whales but soon you learn that there is remote cove that is protected with extreme security and Keep Out signs only to find a true horror taking place.

The fisherman use sound to herd the dolphins into the cove and then the best dolphins are stolen and sold into captivity for $150,000 and the rest are moved to a cove where they are killed for their meet. The final scene is horrifying but to think it happens daily from September to May is even more chilling.

The film is suspenseful, educational and at times James Bond like in the covert action that takes place to put the cameras in place, underwater speakers and more.

The movie can leave you feeling helpless but see the movie....and the decide how to proceed.

Riley was deeply moved and very upset but soon came around as we talked that there is something she can do, if she chooses to do so. Sure SeaWorld is great fun but she can make a choice there.

I have a strong memory of sailing in the Caribbean with my family as a young child and we came upon a pod of Dolphin who swam and played in our wake for 30 minutes. I remember thinking that if I could be any animal it would be a dolphin...they are so cute, intelligent and seem to love the ocean and swimming so much. Years later on my first trip to Seaworld I was enjoying the Dolphin show and it hit me....this cannot be a life for these beautiful animals, they are migratory, and are accustomed to swimming miles a day. I never went back. Sure I have had to explain it for years to my kids, kids friends etc. Although my husband just pointed out that Competitor Magazine holds is Endurance Sports Awards at Seaworld and I went last year......

So I leave this post with...what can you do??? (click on any of the suggestions for more information)

1: Write to our leaders and help get the word out about Japan
2: Learn more about dolphins in captivity
3: Choose the safest fish to eat
4: Help Save Japans Dolphins on the front lines
5: Support the filmmakers with a donation