Sunday, October 31, 2010

Statement by Ric OBarry, Earth Island Institute

Participating in a Public Dialog with Mayor of Taiji about Dolphin Hunts on Nov. 2, 2010

Ric overlooking the cove in Taiji.
Photo by Leah Lemieux.

Ric OBarry, long-time dolphin activist for Earth Island Institute (EII) and subject of the Oscar-Winning THE COVE, makes this statement as a participant in a public discussion about dolphin hunting with Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen and members of the fisheries union:

"I want to thank Mayor Sangen today for arranging this meeting. We at Earth Island Institute support dialog on the subject of the dolphin killing."

"It is important that we state our views clearly and firmly:"
  • EII and I do not believe in breaking the laws in Taiji and will not conduct illegal activities.
  • EII and I do not support a boycott of Japan. We feel a boycott is counter-productive.
  • EII and I have always addressed and will continue to address these issues with respect for the people of Japan and will work with them to solve these problems.
  • The media and government have tried to link us with other organizations, a linkage which we reject as unfair and inaccurate. We speak for our organization and ourselves only.
"From the beginning, I have sought to bring the truth to the people of Japan, truth which cannot be denied or covered up anymore:"

  • The Japanese people must be made aware of the killing of dolphins, which has been covered up by their government. The dolphin slaughter cannot be a Japanese cultural practice if the vast majority of the Japanese people dont even know it is happening.
  • The Japanese people must not be subjected to poisoning by mercury contamination found in dolphin meat, which is unsafe for human consumption.
"Westerners are not the original source of these concerns. Japanese researchers have done extensive testing on contamination of dolphin meat with mercury - in Japan, and Taiji specifically - proving that the mercury levels present a serious danger to the health of the public. Taiji City Council members have echoed these concerns as well. Mercury poisoning should concern all of us. "

For mercury contamination research results, go to:

"I am here not solely to express concerns for dolphins, but also for the health of the people of Japan and to see that the truth of what happens in Taiji is made public to the people of Japan."

"There is a bright future for Taiji without the killing of dolphins. Earth Island Institute and I hope Mayor Sangen has an open mind during this meeting and will see that we can work together for a better future for the dolphins and the people of Taiji."

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