The Cove

A small town (Taiji) in Japan secretly kills more dolphins than anywhere.

A secret ops team moves in. Ironically, they’re led by the very man (Ric O’Barry) who kept dolphins in captivity for years to film the hit TV show “Flipper”.


Where to Watch The Cove

Watch The Cove online at:


Genre: Marine Conservation, Dolphins
Released: 2009.
Director: Louie Psihoyos.
Narrator: Ric O’Barry (main figure in the doc)
Length: 92 minutes.

My Favorite Parts (Includes Spoiler Alerts!)

Some things that stood out to me:

  • Jim Clark (entrepreneur and venture capitalist) coproduced the 2009 The Cove documentary. His funding made possible the purchase and covert installation of some high-tech camera and sound-recording equipment required to capture the film’s climactic dolphin slaughter.
  • Activists Jane Tipsen and Patricia Lee are reportedly murdered over their efforts to protect dolphins.
  • Earlier, Ric O’Barry captures the 5 dolphins who collectively made up the character Flipper from the TV show of the same name.
  • Dolphins are acoustic creatures. The best sonar man has is a toy compared to the Dolphin’s sonar. When you’re in the water the dolphins can see right through you. They can see your heart beating, they can see your bones, they can see if you’re pregnant. — Ric O’Barry.
  • In Taiji, Japan, fishing boats make loud sounds to scare dolphins to shore and then they lay out nets to keep the dolphins in the cove. Then, they sell the dolphins to buyers from marine parks around the world. Each dolphin reportedly sells for $150,000. The local Taiji Whale Museum reportedly brokers the deals. The dolphins that are not selected are reportedly taken out of sight and slaughtered and sold for meat.
  • Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepard sends a team to Taiji to get evidence. Director Louie Psihoyos puts together an Undercover Oceans 11-type team/ Renegade Charles Hambleton; Simon Hutchins (former military); Joe Chisholm (concert organizer); — they put together a military-grade undercover film operation. It includes free divers Mandy-Rae Cruikshank and Kirk Krack out of Vancouver.
  • A cover-up? Some of the dolphins killed by the small Taiji village are sold for meat. Taiji’s mayor reportedly wants to mandate that dolphin meat (20x recommended mercury levels) is fed in children’s schools. Is the dolphin meat being labeled as something else? Could this be a case similar to Minamata disease, another Japanese coverup in which children were poisoned from toxicity from fossil fuel?

Thank you for reading!

-Rob Kelly