Ric O’Barry founded The Dolphin Project in 1970, and since then has been fighting to end the slaughter and exploitation of dolphins around the world. His work was featured prominently in the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”. More information about The Dolphin Project’s ongoing work can be found at https://dolphinproject.net/.

On July 29 in San Francisco, a benefit concert for The Dolphin Project is being held at the Fillmore, featuring the rock band Kings of Chaos, with Sammy Hagar, Slash, Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke, Duff McKagan, Billy Duffy, Glenn Hughes and Myles Kennedy. (http://www.kingsofchaosband.com/)

Tickets for the show and more information can be found here: http://concerts.livenation.com/kings-of-chaos-a-benefit-for-san-francisco-california-07-29-2015/event/1C004EC8F9DED7D3

UPDATE: For so many people, the question is "how to get involved?". We are kicking off a new phase for The Dolphin Project, so the answer is easy: go to our website. Sign the pledge. Don't buy tickets to dolphin shows. And come to our show in San Francisco on July 29th to kick it off. Links are posted above. Thank you!

My Proof: Enter link here http://imgur.com/n5v17N8

Comments: 66 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

RyleeMacKenzie14 karma

Hi Ric :) You truly are my inspiration. Coincidence I am wearing my Dolphin Project shirt today :) I am fourteen years old and have been suffering from severe anxiety and depression, in grade seven I watched The Cove and since then have been trying my absoloute hardest to help the welfare of cetaceans. But I feel like I'm not doing enough; I sign petitions, try to persuade authorities who could change their ways and help out a lot, donate... I feel like I'm not doing enough. Anyway, my question is :are you planning on working on any other projects soon ? If so, what are they ? I want to thank you so much for inspiring me and giving me a reason to get out of bed everyday. I will never be able to thank you enough :)

RicOBarry_here29 karma

As a father, I want to say -- thank you, you've already done enough. Please spend your childhood being a child. When you're 18, you can contact me and we can talk more at that time. I know what you are feeling, but take time to be a 14-year old.

dayofthedead2047 karma

Hi Ric,

Thanks for doing this AMA! I have a few questions:

  1. Since filming “The Cove” have the Dolphin drive hunts lessened in Japan and across the world? Is Dolphin meat still consumed by people in Japan?

  2. Why is OSHA so powerless at the aquariums in Florida? What I mean is since Dawn Brancheau was killed by an Orca at Seaworld Florida and OSHA ruled that it was unsafe for Seaworld employees to enter the water with Orcas, why can employees at Miami Seaquarium enter the water with Orcas? You’d think that this would be a governing across the board law after so many people were killed or injured by them. So what’s going on?

  3. Have more captive whales and dolphins been released into the wild since the release of “The Cove” and “Blackfish?” If so how many and where were they released from?

Thanks Ric.

RicOBarry_here5 karma

For question 2 -- the system doesn't work. Governments protect corporations -- not people. WE have to do this. If consumers stop buying tickets, the problem will be solved. And we are seeing that with SeaWorld --- SeaWorld is "on the ropes". Their stock is crashing. Everyone can help by simply not buying tickets to SeaWorld. It sounds overly simplistic, but that is the solution to the problem. SeaWorld is going out of business. We are now working on this in Europe - at Marineland.

Frajer6 karma

why do people poach dolphins?

RicOBarry_here4 karma

It's all about money. Dolphins are captured because they are worth as much as $200,000 for each dolphin. A dead dolphin is worth about $500 for its meat.

civil_set5 karma

Has the dolphin hunting in Japan slowed down since "The Cove" was released?

RicOBarry_here9 karma

YES! The killing has slowed down, because we have been successful in getting the word out to Japanese people that dolphin meat is contaminated with mercury. If we can educate consumers, we can reduce the demand.

However, the captures have INCREASED. We need to do the same thing with consumers -- people who buy tickets to dolphin shows. And that seems to be working at SeaWorld so far.

Artemis8625 karma

Hello Ric,

First, I want to thank you for everything you are doing to fight against and bring attention to this inhumane and brutal slaughter. I have a couple questions for you.

  1. I have read that part of the reason Japan is so unwilling to back down on the dolphin drives or whaling is because the gov't fears that backing down on whaling would start a slippery slope to acquiescing to increased international regulation of the bluefin tuna fishery. Is there any truth to that hypothesis?

  2. For those of us in the United States, how can we best aid in your efforts? I know the #1 thing is to not buy a ticket to marine parks that keep dolphins, but what are other things we can do if we want to take a more active role?

Thank you so much for doing this AMA! You're a real inspiration to me--I decided to go into ocean conservation law largely from following the Dolphin Project and Oceanic Preservation Society. The work you do is so important. I wish you all the best!!

RicOBarry_here7 karma

In regards to the tuna industry -- the answer is yes. If they stop killing dolphins, they'll have to stop whaling. If they stop whaling, they'll have to stop fishing for tuna.

becca12174 karma

Hi Ric,

Now that it has been reported that JAZA will ban their members who purchase dolphins directly from the drive, do you think this will have significant impact on the drive next season? Also, does this include 2nd hand purchases, or rather, if any dolphin is acquired from Taiji a member of JAZA is not permitted to own it?

Thank you for answering these questions! I will have more, but I will begin with these for now. I hope to join you in Taiji in 2 years once I graduate college!

RicOBarry_here3 karma

Credibility is something you have to earn. These associations haven't earned that yet. We have to monitor EVERY capture EVERY day to see if they are telling the truth or not. The Dolphin Project Cove Monitors will be there to observe every capture.

meteorologist20103 karma

My family is headed to Cancún next week, and there are many advertisements for dolphin-related attractions. For example: http://www.dolphinaris.com/

What are your thoughts on these attractions and the treatment of dolphins there?

RicOBarry_here11 karma

They are all bad, but that area is one of the worst. There are 18 captive facilities in Cancun. It's "the McDonalds" of captive swim programs. I've been there recently and am returning. Expect some legislation soon in Mexico. Things are changing fast -- not just dolphins, but for all animals.

HahamemeOKwegetit3 karma

Hi there Ric, first of all I'm a huge fan of yours. Thanks for all the blood, sweat and tears that you've sacrificed for the well being of Dolphins and Mother Earth in general.

I want to know as a person with a very limited budget, what can I do to help apart from sharing articles and facts on social media? Being not able to donate money as I would gladly have done otherwise.

RicOBarry_here6 karma

Thank you!
What you can do is go to dolphinproject.net. From there, click the "Take Action" tab. You can sign a pledge NOT to go to a dolphin show. We have millions of people signing the pledge.

briandeeds132 karma

Hi Ric, First off thanks for all that you and your son do for the love of dolphins and sea life! I have 2 questions for you. One is related to your son and he is a big part of your operation and a big part of what you do. How did you get him to see the importance of the work you do and the importance of protecting the dolphins without exposing him to some of the graphic nature of what really goes on and without pressing it to hard on him where he would get turned off by it?

My second question is as someone who lives in the midwest and my wife and I are huge supporters what are ways to get involved besides social media and donating money? (We are very hands on people)

RicOBarry_here4 karma

My son did it himself. And I discouraged him from doing it for many years, and I was not successful. Nobody should have to do what I've done, but he gravitated to it, and I'm grooming him to take over.

RMC_rEvo2 karma

Ric, you have lead initiatives where captive dolphins have been reintroduced into the wild. Have these efforts been successful and do you think this processes can be adopted to reintroduce larger cetaceans into the wild such as Lolita? Thank you for what you do.

RicOBarry_here5 karma

Yes -- we have successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and released captive dolphins in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, the United States, Brazil and elsewhere.

Lolita can certainly be retired to a sanctuary back in her native Puget Sound.

deathcab4qt2 karma

Hello Ric! After watching The Cove for the first time I began to take great interest in the Dolphin Project. Over the last few years I have watched many documentaries, read many books and really tried to educate myself about how extraordinary dolphins are, the harm we are doing to these beautiful animals and ways that I can help be the voice of the dolphins. Aside from donations, trying to educate others, and actively avoiding places that keep dolphins captive for entertainment, what are some other ways you would suggest I can actively be involved with making a difference for dolphins?

RicOBarry_here6 karma

First of all, thank you very much. You are doing all the right things, and we hope others will follow your lead. Keep doing what you're doing, and get others to do the same.

Ajnowak922 karma


  1. Can you talk about your music work? I know you were friends with and produced for fred neil. Are you a parrothead?

  2. Have you read the book " deep" by james Nestor? Are you working on a new book?

RicOBarry_here3 karma

Fred Neil was the co-founder of the Dolphin Project, along with Stephen Stills. Fred and I were doing music experiments with the Flipper dolphins and Hugo the killer whale. At the end of the day, we'd break out the guitars, and experimented with music as a language.

braque17162 karma

Hi Ric - Thank you for all of your tireless work! I read somewhere that you had offered to take over as CEO / management of SeaWorld. I think that would be awesome. What are the first three things that you would do at SeaWorld given the opportunity to improve the lives of captive animals while making daring positive changes for the company's parks?

RicOBarry_here8 karma

This is solution to the captivity issue.

1 - stop all captures

2 - those animals that can be released to the wild should be, and those that cannot should be released to a sanctuary

3 - implement birth control

mackcmarsh1 karma

Hi Ric, Huge fan! How can someone get involved with The Dolphin Project? And/or be involved within their own community?

RicOBarry_here5 karma

You can be a Cove Monitor for the Dolphin Project. You can go to our website and submit an application to help.

You can also help us kick off our new phase of work - by joining us for a concert in San Francisco on July 29.

lianathequeen1 karma

Hello Ric!

What can I, a 15 year old girl, can do for fighting for dolphins etc? Since I don't earn my own money yet, it's kinda hard to donate but I really want to help and maybe even change something in this world!

btw, im sorry for any English mistakes, because I am not a native speaker x

RicOBarry_here2 karma

go to dolphinproject.net and take the pledge to not buy a ticket -- and get your friends to do the same. you can also share our message through social media.

yoavsf0 karma

Hello Ric, where are you right now?

RicOBarry_here6 karma

I'm in the south of France helping to organize a huge protest against Marineland in Antibes, France.