Subject and star of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, Ric O’Barry founded The Dolphin Project to oppose the capture and training of performance dolphins. He is the author of the books Behind the Dolphin Smile and To Free a Dolphin, Marine Mammal Specialist for Earth Island Institute, and Director of the Save Japan Dolphins campaign.
Prior to a life-altering change of heart, O’Barry himself captured and trained dolphins for the Miami Seaquarium, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV series. He appeared onscreen in numerous movies and television episodes.
The Cove traces O’Barry’s career and focuses on the capture of dramatic footage of the taking of dolphins in Japan, both for food and for aquarium performance use. It highlights the sentience and intelligence of these gentle mammals, the brutality of their killing, and the human health risks from mercury in dolphin flesh. Filmed largely in secret, the movie virtually swept the boards in top documentary honors. In addition to the 2010 Academy Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary Film, recognitions included awards from the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild of America, the National Board of Review, and numerous other professional and critical film associations in the U.S. and abroad. View the trailer here.
O’Barry’s campaign to protect dolphins has been covered by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, ABC and CBS Network News, Good Morning America and Larry King Live, as well as by hundreds of newspapers, television and radio stations and networks worldwide. He has received the ASPCA Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the Environmental Achievement Award from the U.S. Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He is a “Fellow National” in The Explorers Club, an elite society for scientists and explorers from all over the world.
O’Barry speaks about his 45 years spent with the dolphins, both captive and in the wild. He can, if desired, show a 20-minute version of The Cove, as well as slides of the rescue, rehabilitation and release of captive dolphins. These rescues have taken place in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Haiti, Bahamas Islands, and the United States.
Video clips are available here, and information about his books is available here. To explore engaging Ric O’Barry as a speaker, contact him through Scott Wolfman here. For the most up-to-date information about Ric, visit his Wolfman Productions webpage here.
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