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The little town with a really big secret.

The true story of activists who embarked on a covert mission to penetrate a hidden cove in Japan, exposing a deadly secret.

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The Cove
Academy Award® Winner for “Best Documentary of 2009”

A team of activists, filmmakers, and freedivers embark on a covert mission to expose a deadly secret hidden in a remote cove in Taiji, Japan. By utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, they uncover a horrible annual tradition of unparalleled cruelty. A provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure, and arresting imagery makes this an unforgettable and courageous story that inspires outrage and action.

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Since The Cove's Release in 2009

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Number of Japanese school children eating mercury-laced dolphin meat after The Cove exposed this practice.

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Number of major film awards garnered by The Cove in 2009 and 2010

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Number of individuals that have contacted Japanese authorities after watching The Cove

End the dolphin drive hunts

The Cove has done a great deal to expose these hunts. More important is what happens now. We are determined to end this devastating practice by supporting collaborators in Japan and around the globe. You can help.

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The dolphin drive hunts are deadly.
Dolphins are chased to shore, corralled in a cove, and then selected for marine parks and aquaria, or killed for their meat.

In September of each year, the dolphin drive hunting season begins in Taiji, Japan. Over 2,000 small whales and dolphins may be captured or killed annually. A variety of dolphin species are taken in a brutal process that can last for days.

Over 3,500 copies of The Cove were delivered to households in Taiji, Japan.

Take Action

Following the filming of The Cove, dolphin meat was taken off the school lunch menu in Taiji.

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Whale and dolphin meat is highly contaminated.
Dolphin meat from the drive hunts, often mislabeled and sold as whale meat, contains mercury and PCBs, posing special risk to pregnant women and children.

Many citizens in Japan are unaware of the dolphin hunts, and the health risks associated with consuming whale and dolphin meat. The Japanese government continues to subsidize these hunts which are tied to Japan’s deadly whaling policies, perpetuating this inhumane and out-dated practice.

The drive hunts support the global captivity industry.
Although the majority of dolphins targeted in the hunts are killed and sold for meat, a growing number are taken from the hunts alive for marine parks.

Hundreds of dolphins procured from the Taiji hunts are shipped to aquaria around the globe, primarily within Asia and the Middle East. China is the number one purchaser of wild-caught dolphins from Japan, but every captive facility ultimately fuels the continuation of this deadly supply and demand chain.

A live dolphin procured from the drive hunts may have a price tag of $150,000 or more.

Don't buy a ticket

Meet the Cast and Crew

Louie Psihoyos
Director
Fisher Stevens
Producer
Paula DuPré Pesmen
Producer
Olivia Ahnemann
Co-Producer
Mark Monroe
Writer
Geoffrey Richman
Editor
J. Ralph
Composer
Richard O'Barry
Founder, Dolphin Project
Simon Hutchins
Director of Expeditions
Mandy-Rae Cruickshank
FreeDiver
Kirk Krack
FreeDiver
David Rastovich
Freesurfer
Scott Baker
DNA Scientist
Brooke Aitken
Cinematographer
Charles Hambleton
Clandestine Operations
Joseph Chisholm
Unit Production Manager
Greg “Moondog” Mooney
Marine Technician
Documentary Credits
Director

Louie Psihoyos

Producers

Fisher Stevens
Paula DuPré Pesmen

Co-Producer

Olivia Ahnemann

Writer

Mark Monroe

Editor

Geoffrey Richman

Composer

J. Ralph

Cinematographer

Brooke Aitken

Associate Editor

Michael Scalisi

Assistant Editors

Miles Hubley

Tom White

Marine Mammal Specialist, Earth Island Institute

Richard O’Barry

Director of Expeditions

Simon Hutchins

FreeDivers

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank

Kirk Krack

Freesurfer

David Rastovich

DNA Scientist

Scott Baker

Clandestine Operations

Charles Hambleton

Unit Production Manager

Joseph Chisholm

Marine Technician

Greg “Moondog” Mooney

Social Action

Participant Media

Documentary Awards

2010 Academy Award® Movie Award
Best Documentary Feature

2010 Producers Guild of America Award
Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures

2010 Directors Guild of America Award
Outstanding Directing – Documentaries

2010 Writers Guild of America
Best Documentary Screenplay

2009 Sundance Film Festival
Audience Award – U.S. Documentary

2010 Critics’ Choice Movie Award
Best Documentary Feature

2010 American Cinema Editors

Best Documentary Editing

Blue Ocean Film Festival
Best Theatrical

Blue Ocean Film Festival
Best in Festival

Sydney Film Festival
Audience Award

Silver Docs Film Festival
Audience Award

Seattle International Film Festival
Golden Space Needle

2009 Rome Film Festival
The Ikea Award

Newport Beach Film Festival
Winner

2009 Nantucket Film Festival
Best Storytelling

2009 Maui Film Festival
Audience Award

Hotdocs Film Festival
The Audience Award

Heartland Film Festival
Truly Moving Picture

2009 Ghent Film Festival
Audience Award

2009 Galway Film Festival
Best Doc Feature

Our Supporters

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Education

Study Guide

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Discussion Guide

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Poster

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