Sundance Stunner Sheds Light on Dolphin Slaughter

The Cove filmmakers aim to curb demand for mammals from aquariums, for food
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2009 11:41 AM CST

(Newser) – Planning a trip to Sea World? You might want to go before you see The Cove—because you sure won’t want to after. The documentary, made by a National Geographic photographer and Flipper’s former trainer, takes viewers inside a secret cove in Japan, Andrew O’Hehir, from Sundance, writes in Salon. Fishermen herd thousands of dolphins there, select the best for aquariums and slaughter the rest for meat.

As you might guess, the Japanese government didn’t green-light the movie. Sneaking in equipment “was a military operation more than it was a film shoot,” says one filmmaker. “Everything was working against us.” The cover-up was twofold. There’s the slaughtering part, but selling mislabeled, high-mercury dolphin meat is problematic, too. “That will continue until we can get this movie into Japan and cut off the demand,” the other filmmaker said. (Read more Sundance Film Festival stories.)