There's a picturesque lagoon in Taiji, Japan, a small fishing village, where outsiders and cameras are forbidden. Shielded by steep cliffs, this body of water is protected by people who have a shocking secret.
In 2007, dolphin activist Ric O'Barry set out to expose what really happens here. Alongside director Louie Psihoyos and a dedicated team of filmmakers, Ric documented his mission in Taiji. "The fishermen told me, they said, 'If the world finds out what goes on here, we'll be shut down,'" Ric says.
What most people don't know is every year, from September to March, thousands of dolphins are slaughtered in this small body of water. Some are spared and sold to marine parks around the world, but the rest are killed for their meat. "They're looking for bottlenose dolphins, primarily," Ric says. "They're looking for Flipper."
Despite threat of arrest and tight security, Ric and Louie set out to capture this slaughter on film. Their footage eventually became The Cove, the 2009 Oscar®-winning documentary co-produced by Fisher Stevens.
Ric's mission is personal. He says he's desperately trying to put a stop to an industry he helped create.