Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the organization aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, retire and/or release captive dolphins.
The mission of Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins for retirement and/or release, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.
Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world’s attention to the brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Taiji, Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary “The Cove,” we successfully negotiated for an end to the dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is a cruel and outdated practice.
Ric O’Barry has been working towards these goals for over 50 years, and continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering. Since 1970, when Ric attempted to free a captive dolphin in Bimini, he has since readapted and/or released over 20 dolphins back into the wild.
Dolphin Project is the longest-running anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world. Our mission today remains the same as it did in 1970: Let’s protect dolphins together!
ABOUT RIC O’BARRY
Richard (Ric) O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, for the first 10 years, within the dolphin captivity industry, and for the past 48, against it.
If there is a dolphin in trouble anywhere in the world, my phone will ring.” ~ Ric O’Barry
In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong. From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life.
On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry, and the Dolphin Project was born.
Over the past 47 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, South Korea, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, Solomon Islands, Faroe Islands, Indonesia and wherever else they occur.
O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – “Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, Katie Couric, the Mike Huckabee Show and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Dolphin Project is the longest-running, anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world. Our mission remains the same as it did in 1970: Let’s protect dolphins together!