Watch as The Cove reveals to the world the shocking and deadly ritual that involves the mass slaughter of thousands of bottlenose dolphins each year on the coast of Japan. During the mass killing a lucky few are sold off to aquariums so they can perform in water shows. The rest aren’t so lucky, they are simply crowded together and stabbed to death, then their meat is sold.
National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, interviews the everyday Japanese people on the street, who claim they have no idea that the whale meat they are consuming is actually mercury-saturated bottlenose dolphin. The mass killing of this beautiful animal is not exactly a secret, but the Japanese fishermen of Taiji have gone to considerable lengths to keep cameras and other observers from getting a good look at what’s going on. Psihoyos is hell-bent to change all that, he assembles a team of scientists, filmmakers, and nerds to smuggle recording equipment into the cove.
The team’s spiritual and emotional captain is Richard O’Barry, the man who helped popularize dolphins as cuddly animals as the trainer of TV’s Flipper back in the 1960s-and who, horrified by the way dolphins have been used in public displays, has been an anti-captivity activist for decades.