The documentary film, “The Cove,” describing the cruelty of an annual dolphin hunt that takes place in a small bay in Japan, recently won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
For the filmmakers, the efforts to end marine mammal killing and to protect the animals’ environment has been ongoing. Just before the Oscars award ceremony, they teamed with vegan eco-activists to go undercover into a restaurant suspected of selling whale meat, which is illegal in the United States according to the Marine
Mammal Protection Act.
After a DNA test confirmed that the flesh being served was from the endangered Sei whale, the violation was reported to officials. The film’s director, Louie Psihoyos, who had participated in the activity, said that the exposure of whale hunting, like his film, is about saving the animals as well as the biosphere that supports their lives.
Louie Psihoyos – Director of Oscar winning film The Cove (M): We’re trying to solve the problem in one little cove, but it’s really a microcosm of what’s going on in the oceans. With all the fertilizers and run-offs and pesticides, it’s killing the oceans.
VOICE: “The Cove” also exposes the fact that the dolphins being hunted are already contaminated with mercury from the polluted ocean waters.
Those hunting them use underwater sonar waves, which drive the panicked dolphins into a small cove that soon turns bloody red as they are brutally speared or knifed to death.
As it turns out, this dolphin meat has some of the highest levels of mercury known in Japan, with the potential to cause neurological damage, especially in children. In addition, the dolphins that are not killed outright are captured and sold into lives of captivity and isolation to entertain humans in zoos and aquariums.
The film’s message is thus to raise awareness about these practices, which wreak harm to so many beings.
Louie Psihoyos (M): The only way that we can save the life of a dolphin now is to prove that we made his environment so toxic, that we can no longer eat them.
It shows you the amount of respect that we lost for the animal and the amount of respect that we lost for ourselves. We’re doing what no wild animal will do; we’re fouling our own nest.
VOICE: We congratulate and thank Mr. Psihoyos and co-creators of “The Cove” for working to preserve our precious oceans and their beautiful inhabitants.
May we treat more kindly our marine friends and the vital seas that we both share and depend upon.
Louie Psihoyos (M): Be veg, go green, save the planet.
VOICE: In a November 2008 interview with Ireland’s East Coast Radio FM, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the issue of tainted dolphin meat and once more encouraged the protection of all marine life for our planetary survival.