‘The Cove’ to expose dolphin abuse

Cayman Islands’ residents are invited to a free pre-release showing of a 2009 Sundance award-winning documentary ‘The Cove’ this Friday, to learn about the world’s largest source of captive dolphins in Japan.

cove film

The Cove tells the true story of how an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate a hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret. Photo: Submitted

The film showing takes place at 6.30pm this Friday, 5 June at the Marriott Resort.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, ‘The Cove’ follows a dive team on a mission to discover the truth about the international dolphin capture trade as practiced in Taiji, Japan. Utilising state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide.

The Cove exposes not only dolphin slaughtering in Japan, but also the dangerously high levels of mercury in dolphin meat and seafood, the cruelty of capturing dolphins for entertainment and the depletion of the ocean’s fisheries by worldwide seafood consumption.

Introducing the film will be freedivers Kirk Krack and his wife Mandy-Ray Cruickshank who, in Japan, assisted in setting underwater recording devices in the infamous killing cove, eluding guards and police.

The film is being brought to the Cayman Islands by the campaign group Keep Dolphins Free in the Cayman Islands in co-operation with other Cayman Islands environmental and animal awareness groups.

The movie is not yet rated for animal cruelty scenes in the dolphin capture process and caution is recommended if bringing pre-teens, said a press release.

Mr. Billy Adam of Keep Dolphins Free in the Cayman Islands said the subjects of this film brings up serious issues in the dolphin entertainment industry such as the catch methods used to capture dolphins and the indiscriminate captures without care for whether the dolphins have babies, are pregnant, or injuries caused to other dolphins in the capture process.

He said this film shows photographic evidence of what happens in these captures and of how complicit governments are.

He criticised the Cayman Islands government saying it is showing poor governance because laws have been broken in the setting up of dolphin facilities in the Cayman Islands.

Both swim with dolphin facilities in the Cayman Islands opened and continue to operate without Operating Licences, as required by law, and one of them was not granted a discharge permit until some weeks after opening.

Mr. Adam complained that high level politicians and senior civil servants have done nothing about the laws being broken.

‘It’s poor governance when the government decides which laws can be broken with their full knowledge, without consequence, and the UK is responsible for governance,’ he said.

Speaking about environmental matters, Mr. Adam said, ‘Good governance is meeting international obligations.’

He said the Cayman Islands Government has not complied with their commitment to enact the enabling legislation to give effect to the United National Environmental Programme Special Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol and the United Kingdom/Cayman Islands Environmental Charter (2001), nor passed the enabling legislation for CITES – the National Conservation Law.

The film has been described as ‘Horrifying and Beautiful. A tragic ballet,’ by Gore Vernbinski, Director Pirates of the Caribbean.

Rolling Stone Magazine said, ‘Sundance is known for documentaries. But this baby, a cross between Flipper and The Bourne Identity, packed the heat. Using technology borrowed from George Lucas’ILM, an intrepid American crew slips into Japan and nails the bad guys for doing terrible things to dolphins’.

Space on Friday evening is limited, and admittance is on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information, or to watch the movie’s trailer, visit www.thecovemovie.com