Local surfers in documentary

NORTHERN Rivers environmentalists appear in a documentary on dolphin slaughters that yesterday won an Oscar.

They are now hopeful that the accolade will pressure Japan to stamp out the barbaric practice.

The Cove, made by an American team, tells the story of an annual rite in Taiji, Japan, where fisherman capture dolphins for marine parks or kill them for meat.

Ten local environmentalist-surfers appear in the film paddling out into the slaughter to protest against the grisly event.

Howie Cooke, a member of the pro-dolphin group Surfers for Cetaceans, travelled to Japan to take part in the demonstration.

“There was a back-to-back action. In the first action 20 surfers paddled out,” Mr Cooke said.

“On the following day six people paddled out, but that got more notice because they paddled through blood and got attacked by Japanese dolphin killers.”

Mr Cooke said the popularity of the documentary had informed the world of this cruel ritual.

“It has now won something like 20 film awards prior to winning the Oscar.

“That has been putting a lot of pressure on Japan already as it highlights the slaughter of 24,000 dolphins every year.

“It also has brought to light the dark side of the captive dolphin industry.

“Most captured dolphins around the world come from Taiji and are then transported out.”



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