The Secret is Out. Spread the Word.

I saw the film “The Cove” last night and I have to say, it was pretty hard to watch. I’m horrified to discover that people can be so cruel to animals. Sea life is already degrading and this is another example of why. If this continues, our children will not be able to see the beauty of the underwater world.  Several years ago, I had the opportunity to swim with dolphins and it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.  This is not the type of thing that I would normally post on our blog, but the issue touched me deeply!!

The Secret is Out. Spread the Word.

In The Cove, a team of activists and filmmakers infiltrate a heavily-guarded cove in Taiji, Japan. In this remote village they witness and document activities deliberately being hidden from the public: More than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered each year and their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is being sold as food in Japan, often times labeled as whale meat. The majority of the world is not aware this is happening. The Taiji cove is blocked off from the public. Cameras are not allowed inside and the media does not cover the story. It’s critical that we get the word out in Japan. Once the Japanese people know we believe they will demand change.

Send a letter to President Obama, Vice President Biden and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki urging them to address this issue. Everyone who signs the letter will be able to have their name displayed in a widget that will be posted on top social networks, web sites and blogs in Japan. The widget will link to actions people there can take to make a difference.

The focus of the Social Action Campaign for The Cove is to create worldwide awareness of this annual practice as well as the dangers of eating seafood contaminated with mercury and to pressure those in power to put an end to the slaughter. And it’s been working. The film has been making waves since it premiered last year. Critical praise and audience awards worldwide have focused international attention on Taiji and the annual dolphin drives off the coast of Japan.  Under intense pressure, Taiji called for a temporary ban on killing bottlenose dolphins. The film, which was originally rejected, was shown at the Tokyo Film Festival due to public outcry. Residents in Taiji are being tested for mercury poisoning, and for the first time Japanese media are covering the issue.
Almost 1 million people have signed our letters to President Obama, Vice President Biden, the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., the Prime Minister and Minister of Health in Japan. Once we reach a million we will present 1000 Origami dolphins to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, and to the Minister of Health in Japan. We’d like to get there by the end of March – in time for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington.

Recent updates – “We suspected the killing would resume once the initial publicity from the film died down,” said O’Barry. “Sadly, this is exactly what happened. Bottlenose dolphins are being hunted and killed in Taiji again. The no kill policy didn’t last and was most likely a strategic short-term publicity stunt aimed at quieting the international media.”
O’Barry added, it is not realistic to think that we, or anyone else, can shut it down before this year’s hunting season ends in March 2010, but we have seen what the film is capable of and that was with a limited theatrical release. In order to stop the dolphin slaughter in Japan once and for all, The Cove must be viewed by the Japanese people. So far, it has not been. There are 126 million people in Japan. Less than 300 of them have seen the documentary so far. The work, therefore, is now about launching an effort within Japan to ensure that as many Japanese people as possible see The Cove.”

About OPS, the Oceanic Preservation Society

The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 by photographers, filmmakers, and eco-activists. Sparked by the love of the oceans, and concern at their evident decline, OPS shows the world, through visual media, what is happening on 70% of our planet, OPS hopes that individuals make a difference so that future generations need not adapt to a diminished environment. Our first film, THE COVE, has won Audience Awards around the globe. It has also prompted many to take action to protect our oceans, its creatures, and our planet.

Dear Avatel’s  Blog followers, please watch the documentary as difficult as it is to watch, working together with our friends from all around the world, we can stop the killing. Take Part now to help shut down the cove for good, Sign the petition at http://www.takepart.com/thecove

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP

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