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The Cove - Doco about Taiji's Dolphin killings


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#1 Drew

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:35 AM

After the attempt by celebrities to highlight the Taiji dolphin slaughter killings, Richard O'Barry stars in this espionage styled documentary about the Taiji Dolphin industry. Using impressive ingenuity to capture images from "the cove" where the dolphins are killed, the documentary goes all out to show the world what happens in Taiji. The film also includes the IWC controversy. I've already seen the film but thought this might interest readers:

http://thecovemovie.com/


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#2 brycegroark

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:02 AM

Great film - saw it at the Blue Ocean FF last month. Seldom does a film make me feel the way this one did. Everyone should see this.
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#3 scorpio_fish

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:42 AM

It says it will be in Dallas on Aug 7, but the theater doesn't list it. I'll have to call them. I am very intrigued.
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#4 xariatay

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:01 PM

Been concerned abt this issue for several years, glad to see a documentary addressing it... Hope to be able to watch this documentary in s'pore!
Please help by signing the "Help Save Japan's Dolphins" petition at http://www.thepetiti...ction/724210624
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#5 echeng

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:37 PM

I went to see this today. It was incredible -- both touching and infuriating. Aside from the call to action (which isn't too preachy), it is an incredible story about how the team managed to get the footage of what happens in Taiji.

The Cove is playing in a bunch of theaters now -- it's the perfect time to go see it.
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#6 kornse

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:18 AM

looked like a great Doc. Hope it will hit the danish theatres soon...

#7 Drew

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:39 AM

For those who may not be able to get to see this movie, there is also a very good doco by the BBC back in 2004 about Taiji by Paul Kenyon. It deals more with the dolphinariums buying from the taiji hunts. To me, that 28 minutes of doco gave me more unbiased info on the happenings behind the scenes of Taiji than any other film, the cove included.
Here's the transcript for those who haven't seen it:

BBC Dolphin Hunters

The good news is that in Taiji, there is a growing local voice that is pushing for less dolphin meat due to mercury levels. That leaves the big market of dolphin trading which makes more money than any sold meat.
The counter argument to dolphin shows and captured dolphins is the great PR it gives dolphins. How many people who don't even swim avoided tuna because of the dolphins (which pushed for the dolphin safe tuna label)? I can't say how effective these captured dolphins have been in garnering support for conservation. However, many scientists in the field say the benefit to the overall cause means the sacrifice of a few dozen dolphins a year is worth it.

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#8 WanderingBob

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:17 AM


I have heard of these acts, have seen some footage on "Whale Warriors" but am amazed at home this trailer affected me. Hmmmm ... at a loss for words right now.
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#9 AMW

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:00 PM

I saw THE COVE last weekend at the ArcLight in Hollywood. Superb but very sad documentary...definitely a must see. The OPS had a set up in the theatre of some of the props used to get much of the dolphin slaughter footage. This included stealth cameras hidden in rocks and bird nests...definitely interesting.

#10 WaterWorks

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:49 PM

Firstly - I'm on your side so no shouting, or slagging me off please....

Secondly - I like good, fair, solid debates by adults in adult situations (like here in WetPixel - as opposed to Tabloid-style shock tactics of little Hollywood stars crying whilst they sit on their surfboards and wear their wetsuits that poison the planet in their production process…..)

so - that aside....... I would like to share a question that always pops up in my mind, when I see stories of these appalling acts:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Where are the voices slating The Faroe Islands, Iceland etc????"

I don't want to start an argument or have any hatred directed towards me (it's not my intention to antagonise, purely to raise a point) but it seems a little wrong that we all go out Japan-bashing all the time when all around the world, similar atrocities are being carried out by our "own kind" in our "own backyards"....

Just wishing to add an air of fairness to a very heated debate..... I agree totally that these monstrous acts of inhumane, barbaric behaviour need to be banned overnight (cultures and traditions should sometimes be pushed along way aside) but I think that the global call for action should most certainly be aimed at ALL those nations / companies / individuals who are involved.... that way we will have a well-substantiated podium to preach from…. As opposed to this shoddy - and seemingly hypocritical –angle, (which does as much to highlight these “stars’ bravery” as it does to highlight the plight of the dolphins….)

consider it from the Jap's angle - a load of round-eyed white devils turn up and start telling "us" how to do things or what to do - and they haven't even started hitting onto their own "brothers" back in Europe and elsewhere??? It may come across to them as being a little "off" and unbalanced.

Most countries don’t like being told how to do things by outsiders – we can see evidence of that over the years…..

The best scene (and most successful stunt) in that whole doc was when the film makers went out on the streets and started showing the Japanese people themselves what is happening in their beautiful land to their beautiful resources….

Why don’t the doc makers try getting the Japanese media on their side first and then - once they’ve won THAT battle – they could rightfully stand up loud and proud and tell the world what they’ve achieved….

There's an interview on boxoffice.com with Richard Barry - the maker of The Cove: http://boxoffice.com...de-the-cove.php

I quote a piece that Barry states: "There are the Solomon Islands and the Pharaoh’s Islands—the dolphin slaughters are going on in other parts of the world, but if we can’t fix this lagoon we shouldn’t go further. We need to focus on this until it shuts down. When it shuts down, and it will, it’ll be for a reason. So you take that reason and project it onto the other places. In the Pharoah’s Islands they’re killing dolphins for their meat. That one could shut down for mercury contamination."

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this man have far more "right" to (and wouldn't he hold far more "sway" in the eyes of the powers that be if he were to) attack the global industry in general????

As things stand – these people come across a little “holier than though” and almost as hysterical as The United State’s other band of "lunatics" – The Pro-Lifers…. (don’t get me started on THAT debate!! :) )

Thanks for reading my post – please don’t hate me. Just be balanced, informed and - above all - fair….

That’s the way to get people to listen….

Now who wants to go to the Faroe Islands and start telling big, burly "Danes" with big bulging biceps how to do things??? :) The term "having the living shit kicked out of you" comes to mind when I picture the scenario.....

Edited by WaterWorks, 15 August 2009 - 06:55 PM.


#11 WaterWorks

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:39 PM

Sorry to comeback and totally edit this post (I just went right off topic and hijacked this post to go off on one about the Faroe islands. Maybe I'll leave that for another post... :) )

back on topic.....

I think that a good documentary should highlight a plight and doesn't necessarily need a "Michael Moore" style "Uber-hero" to present it from their "I'm holier than thou" angle.....

I respect these film makers massively along with certain other watery-sharkey film makers out there.... but I just wish that they didn't tell us "their" story at the same time....

I feel that it blunts the point a little..... maybe I'm wrong and some people feel like it personifies the doc - I feel like it muddles the issues:

Are we being asked to adulate a brave hero or to save the dolphins?

Edited by WaterWorks, 15 August 2009 - 07:12 PM.


#12 DeanB

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:45 AM

JAPAN BASHING ??? what ????

Although I haven't seen this film yet I think 'maybe' Its just highlighting one disgusting act and thats happening in JAPAN !!! one film at a time maybe ???... As for 'hollywood shock tactics if they work then yee bloody haa !!!

And stop apologising everytime you make your thoughts known Chris its your concerns mate...

So maybe the next film will be about 'other countries' and their atrocities ... Who knows..

Its concentrating on the issue of a vile and disgusting and merciless act thats once again hidden under the banner of tradition... I feel that protesting does get to a certain level but maybe more direct actions will get the point across ... These 'traditions' started years ago when we had less of an understanding of these beautiful and intelligent creatures but that has changed and its just the stubborn idiots who want to keep it going with their narrow minded attempts at keeping a 'tradition' alive... It should stop and it should stop NOW ...

Personally i'd look way beyond the hollywood glitz and the 'apparent' supermen/women trying to save the world and would concentrate on those poor helpless creatures that are being slaughtered...

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#13 DeanB

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:51 AM

However, many scientists in the field say the benefit to the overall cause means the sacrifice of a few dozen dolphins a year is worth it.


OMFG !!! paid by who I wonder ...

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#14 Drew

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:02 AM

"Where are the voices slating The Faroe Islands, Iceland etc????"


There was A LOT of protesting against the Faroese, Norwegians and even against Iceland (even though they gave us Bjork and Sigur Ros, both support the right to whale btw). It tailed off and the Japanese became the main focus for the protest groups because of the high exposure vs 2 islands in the Atlantic and an EU country oil rich enough to be immune to any sort of international pressure. The protesters can easily raise money protesting against the Japanese (who in the 80s were apparently repeating WWII economically, if you believed some of the rhetoric).

For me, the cetaceans being killed, while tragic, is sustainable so far. With the Faroese suffering from high Mercury related issues, they've already laid off whale meat/blubber. I think just in 2008, their own government issued the warning about pilot whale meat. The same is happening in Taiji and Futo in Japan.

While I can relate to what Ric O'Barry is trying to do, I'd rather concentrate my efforts on protecting river dolphins like Botu and Irrawaddy or the Maui dolphins (less than 200 hundred left in the WORLD). Doesn't mean what he's doing is wrong, just not exactly on a high priority in terms of population numbers. Like it or not, many in the world see everything as a resource to be controlled. In fact, the Japanese really only signed the IWC moratorium because the Reagan administration promised better fishing rights in the Eastern Pacific, which they reneged of course.

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#15 xariatay

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 07:17 PM

For those who may not be able to get to see this movie, there is also a very good doco by the BBC back in 2004 about Taiji by Paul Kenyon. It deals more with the dolphinariums buying from the taiji hunts. To me, that 28 minutes of doco gave me more unbiased info on the happenings behind the scenes of Taiji than any other film, the cove included.
Here's the transcript for those who haven't seen it:

BBC Dolphin Hunters

The good news is that in Taiji, there is a growing local voice that is pushing for less dolphin meat due to mercury levels. That leaves the big market of dolphin trading which makes more money than any sold meat.
The counter argument to dolphin shows and captured dolphins is the great PR it gives dolphins. How many people who don't even swim avoided tuna because of the dolphins (which pushed for the dolphin safe tuna label)? I can't say how effective these captured dolphins have been in garnering support for conservation. However, many scientists in the field say the benefit to the overall cause means the sacrifice of a few dozen dolphins a year is worth it.


Read the transcript. Very informative. Thanks for sharing! The parting shot "if the key to all this is Japanese public opinion….it doesn’t need changing….it just needs informing."
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#16 WaterWorks

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:37 PM

Agreed on prioritising - I once saw an Irrawaddy dolphin's dorsal fin break the surface of The Mekong.... once....

I totally agree that traditions and cultures should be maintained - so lets maintain them..... Send out the whaling / dolphin hunters in little old rowing boats, without any engines and without sonar etc....

Myth -> "we are only practicing our age-old traditions laid down before us by our fore-fathers for hundreds and hundreds of years......"

Now there's your problem - people are being allowed to distort their cultural traditions into a practical and productive modern manner - at the detriment of the ecosystem....

(Before someone slates my sarcasm - I know that whales were hunted nearly to extinction before the use of sonar and engines but we've stopped using their blubber for lanterns and their other bits for our corsets so lets try it! How about politely "asking" these nations to respect their own traditions and cultures and "request" that they abandon these untraditional, modern techniques.... and while we're at it, lets stick it to the fishing industry as well that the use of superior, modern, technology is putting the planets largest eco-system at serious risk... and lets get back out there and harvest our ocean's in a truly traditional manner - that way, there MAY be a slim chance for future generations to enjoy a little bit of seafood!)

To quote one of TV's best shows - Now THERE'S your praaaarblem......

- Myth......... BUSTED

#17 ebonites

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:46 PM

"For me, the cetaceans being killed, while tragic, is sustainable so far."

"While I can relate to what Ric O'Barry is trying to do, I'd rather concentrate my efforts on protecting river dolphins like Botu and Irrawaddy or the Maui dolphins (less than 200 hundred left in the WORLD). Doesn't mean what he's doing is wrong, just not exactly on a high priority in terms of population numbers. Like it or not, many in the world see everything as a resource to be controlled."

I find this a disturbing and irrelevant downplaying of the very film that was first presented as noteworthy in the initial post for this topic.

Such an obvious moral evil as the prolonged hacking and stabbing of the highly sentient cetaceans as depicted in "The Cove" shouldn't receive countenance with some capricious determination of their "sustainable" numbers.

The film's "Mission Impossible" approach was primarily used in an extraordinary effort to display the barbaric commercialized slaughter and the vicious captures of the smaller cetaceans. Species preservation, including the plight of the endangered Botu, Irrawaddy and the Maui dolphin populations, is certainly an important and related issue...appropriate for another documentary altogether.

Yet "The Cove" also used the massacres in Taiji to specifically illuminate that if such iconic species can't be protected, then all the seas' other inhabitants will surely be lost. Overfishing was highlighted with skillful footage of the endless tuna catches going through the vast market in Tokyo. Commentary from Paul Watson and Dr. Roger Payne also conveyed the broader consequences of killing the oceans - of restraining the economic ruthlessness enough to let all species continue in their right to share the planet with us.

The irrationality of seeing "everything as a resource to be controlled" shouldn't be accepted with "like it or not" - it's the very thing worth fighting against if we're to have a viable ocean essential for our own species continued existence.

Edited by ebonites, 17 August 2009 - 02:49 AM.


#18 Drew

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 06:25 AM

Ebonites
The nice thing about Wetpixel is the viewpoints of each and every person are no less relevant than the next. It's a discussion about a film which I saw and thought was a good topic to discuss about.
My subsequent post was to highlight the plight of other cetacean species which face extinction, much like the Baiji/Yangtze dolphin did last year. The species of cetaceans hunted along the entire coast Japan are not facing such dire realities. To me, to save those species in immediate trouble is of a much higher priority than those in the film.
There's been international pressure since 2002 on the dolphin hunts, at least 1 really decent doco by the Beeb and even celebrity coverage. The medical side of things will minimize the hunts and soon it'll only be down to the dolphin trade driving these things. As different countries develop, everyone will want a dolphin swim/show etc. So do you shut down demand or supply first? I would think demand is harder but longer lasting no?
To further your point about using the Taiji hunt (in essence dolphin hunting, which occurs around the world) and how if we can't stop that what hope is there. I'd like to point out the much easier task of convincing NZ fishermen to stop using set nets in the north island where the Maui dolphins are located has met with thousands against the plan because it affects their past time. No livelihood affected or national pride issues, just a past time. So tell me how if an island of 4 million people can't decide on one area, how Japan's 130 million can affect the livelihoods of hundreds?
Your opinion that "such an obvious moral evil as the prolonged hacking and stabbing of the highly sentient cetaceans as depicted in "The Cove" shouldn't receive countenance with some capricious determination of their "sustainable" numbers." is popular in some countries but obviously not shared by all people. I believe once people go to anthropomorphic arguments, they will lose ground with people who don't share the sentiments. Sound logic ,on the other hand, will eventually prevail, as it seems the high mercury content and its detrimental effects has already started local dissension in Taiji. Far more effective to show the downsides of eating cetacean meat , rather than foreigners invading their town telling them what to do.

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#19 DeanB

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:48 PM

rather than foreigners invading their town telling them what to do.


Well apparently someone has too...

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#20 xariatay

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:20 PM

Have watched the docu last night. Feeling very sad for Ric O'Barry, hopefully he would live long enough to see the end of the killing of dolphins in Taiji... The documentary also highlighted & explored the many difficulties & the different viewpoints. Furthermore, (spoiler alert!) there are also brave people of Taiji, who dared to the children of Taiji against mercury poisoning.
Last night's movie premier was organised by ACRES - a Singaporean animal welfare group. For years, it has been telling us that the dolphins are "suffering, not smiling", the documentary drove home the message.
To save river dolphins, the process would be must harder, maybe to start regulating the pollution into the river system?? But how to regulate without financial help??
If we can't even save dolphins, there is no need to mention sharks...

Edited by xariatay, 25 August 2009 - 06:32 PM.

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