This is a 2009 Academy Award winning film from the Oceanic Preservation Society about a group of activists filming the capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.
AT Taiji the fishermen not only slaughter the dolphins, but they are also responsible for the export of dolphins for a life of captivity in Seaquariums around the world.
The person who started the Seaquarium movement off, really, is Ric O’Barry, who, with his successful TV series in the 60s, Flipper, popularised the training of dolphins for entertainment.
After his favorite dolphin, and star of the Flipper series, Cathy, died, or according to Ric, committed suicide, he released his first dolphin, and has been actively seeking an end to the industry since.
The film follows the activists, as much as the dolphins, as they prepare to access a secret and tightly secured cove in Taiji, where the dolphins who are not wanted for the entertainment market are slaughtered, at the rate of around 23,000 a year.
The film also looks at the activities of the International Whaling Commission, which monitors and is supposed to prevent the destruction of whales. They are toothless even in that regard as there is an escape clause to kill whales for “scientific” purposes. Dolphins, however, don’t even come into their purview as they are not classed by the IWC as whales.
Most of the film follows the activists as they import tons of equipment to Japan, including a camera-fitted balloon-drone, cameras hidden in rocks and audio equipment, before they illegally gain access to the secret cove and film what is going on there.
The shocking footage that emerges is only shown in the last 15 minutes, though, so even if you don’t want to be appalled by the sight of what is going on there, you can still watch the rest of the film safely, and gain a better understanding of this terrible situation.
here is a recent article on the situation at Taiji.
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