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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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Get the DVD: Ric O'Barry, whose efforts to save dolphins are documented in the Oscar-winning film "The Cove," speaks during an interview in Tokyo last year. AP PHOTO

Activists to give Taiji residents free 'Cove' DVD

Staff writer

Supporters of a movement working to halt the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, will distribute DVDs of the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove" to all residents of the tiny port that grabbed global attention with its bloody cull, an activist group said Monday.

The local anonymous group People Concerned for the Ocean, including Japanese members, will deliver the DVD of the film, dubbed in Japanese, to each home in the town of 3,500 this weekend, Colorado-based Oceanic Preservation Society said in a press release.

Louie Psihoyos, director of "The Cove" and founder of Oceanic Preservation Society, said, "The people in Taiji deserve to know what millions of others around the world have learned about their town by seeing 'The Cove.' "

"The Cove" was released in summer 2009 in the U.S., Europe and other countries. Theaters in Japan began showing the movie, edited specially for the Japanese market to hide the identities of Taiji fishermen to protect their privacy, last July.

Some theaters that had originally planned to show the movie canceled the screening after rightist groups threatened to harass them with loudspeaker vehicles.

Taiji fishermen continue to hunt about 2,000 dolphins a year, only 10 percent of Japan's entire dolphin catch, despite calls and obstruction by animal rights activists to halt the cull. In Taiji, hundreds of dolphin are herded into a shallow inlet and then slaughtered, although some are spared and sold to aquariums.

Animal right activists oppose dolphin killing because dolphins are intelligent and the animals contain poisonous methyl mercury. Taiji residents and their supporters argue dolphins are a traditional food and eating the mammals is not dangerous.

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The Japan Times

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