Archive for September 2009

Great News: Paul Wesley in Huge “Vampire Diaries” Series Premiere

September 11, 2009

Picture 56TV Guide today is reporting that the Vampire Diaries Premiere last night on CW
“became the most watched series premiere in network history”, with 4.8M viewers.

This is VERY good news for us because BTB’s Paul Wesley stars in the series and such a strong premiere clearly means the show is destined to be on the air for quite awhile. To give you a concrete indication — Paul’s IMDB “Starmeter:” rating was 5,800 when we cast him in BTB; it now stands at 848 (meaning out of everyone in Hollywood, he’s cracked the top 1000. And last night, during and after the premiere, I was surfing the message boards at IMDB, CW, and elsewhere — and there were lots of posts along the lines of “who’s the actor playing Stephan….he’s HOT”, etc — so we’re expecting upward movement in the coming weeks and months.

In setting up BTB, we consciously wanted to make sure the film had an up and coming “hottie” (sorry, I cringe writing the word, but you get it) to play the role of Craig — who is Alyssa’s first love interest, etc. And now we’re able to be pretty sure we made a good choice. (We always knew Paul was great in terms of ability….this is about marketability, though.)

Here’s a screen grab of the starmeter list showing who Paul’s neighbors are at his current level. Not bad company to be in for a young actor on the way up. Congrats, Paul.

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Taiji Update: The Slaughter Will Continue Despite Delays

September 9, 2009

I previously passed along an update from Ric O’Barry in which he reported that becasue of “The Cove”, the Japanese media for the first time descended on Taiji on the supposed first day of the annual dolphin slaughter — and the slaughter didn’t start.  Unfortunately — and we expected this — it looks like a delay, not anything more than that. Here’s a new update.l  Sorry about the graphic photo but ….. it’s important to see.  Note that we are coordinating with various groups about things like this — and the Sonar issue — as we get Beneath the Blue in alignment with the groups out there who are concerned, as we are, with this type of thing.

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by Daniel Hohler

Last Tuesday, EcoWorldly Staff Writer Bryan Nelson wrote an article on the suspension of dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan. The suspension came off of Japanese local media swarming on Taiji, after the award winning documentary film “The Cove” put the spotlight on the small Japanese village that slaughters thousands of dolphins every year.

Ric O’Barry, the dolphin trainer and activist who brought the location to the attention of filmmakers, returned to the site of the slaughter this week, just as the annual “hunt” would normally begin. However, this time with all of the media attention, no dolphins were killed in the first 2 days of the season.
“It has been an exciting morning and the people here are very hostile, but as long as this goes on and we keep the pressure on, they cannot hunt the dolphins.” -Ric O’Barry

Sadly, O’Barry admits solemnly, this is only temporary. O’Barry keeping a watchful eye on the dolphin fishermen, has managed to disrupt the first two days of the annual dolphin hunt in the Japanese town of Taiji, but accepts that as soon as he leaves the fishermen will resume the killing.

“It’s very expensive for me be here and I can’t stay for the whole six months of the season”-Ric O’Barry

According to the Japan Fisheries Agency, around 20,000 dolphins will be killed all around Japan this season. The documentary revealed that dolphin meat is often sold illegally to the Japanese school system, and that school children often have no idea that what they are eating is dolphin meat. Dolphin meat has been shown to have high levels of mercury, which can be a huge problem for developing children.

On the coast of Japan, fishermen set out in dozens of boats and chase down a pod of dolphins. They then surround the pod with their boats, and create loud noises with metal poles, to frighten the dolphins into a net at the mouth of the bay. They leave for the day as the dolphins struggle within the nets frantically. The fishermen come back the next day to find “worthy” specimens. Fishermen tie a rope around the dolphins tail fin, and literally drag the dolphins to the coast for slaughter. The crystal blue ocean water turns crimson with the blood of the dolphins, as their necks are slit one by one and thrown onto an awaiting boat.

Dolphin fishermen will not just give up easily because of a little media attention, as each dolphin sold for meat will net them around $500 apiece. Each dolphin that they believed can be trained for aquariums can net them $150,000.

O’Barry is only staying in town for a week, and has already encountered angry locals at what they perceive to be interference in their industry. On Tuesday morning, as he tried to enter a grocery store, the head of the fishing union blocked the door and refused to allow him to buy any food. As soon as O’Barry leaves Taiji, media attention will wane, and the dolphin slaughter will continue.

The film “The Cove” has gone a long way in raising awareness. You can check to see if their are any screenings of the film in your area here. Spread the word. If enough people around the world know about what is happening in Taiji, O’Barry will no longer be the lone voice of protest that stands between the dolphins and those that wish to slaughter them.

Source:, The Cove

Image Credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Great News From Taiji

September 1, 2009

Just got this in from Ric O’Barry (courtesy of Ken Levasseur–thanks, Ken)  from Taiji, site of the annual dolphin slaughter that is depicted so powerfully in the documentary The Cove, which is out in theaters now generating tremendous buzz and a likely Academy Award nominee if not winner.  Check out The Cove Website if you are not familiar with this great film.  Here’s the poster by the way.

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Here’s Ric’s update — very exciting and encouraging:


September 1, 2009: A Good Day for Dolphins

By Richard O’Barry, Director

Save Japan Dolphins Coalition

Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season in Japan.  But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with media representatives from all over the world, the notorious Cove from the movie was empty.  There were no dolphin killers in sight

So today is a very good day for dolphins!

I vowed to be back in Taiji when the dolphin killing began.  I’ve often been here alone, or accompanied by a few environmentalists.  Sometimes, I was able to talk a major media organization into sending someone.

But the people of Japan never learned about the dolphin slaughter, because none of the media in Japan (with the exception of the excellent Japan Times) have ever sent reporters to the killing Cove.  Until today!

When I got off the bus at the Cove this afternoon, I was accompanied by my son Lincoln O’Barry’s film crew, a crew from Associated Press, Der Spiegel (the largest magazine in Germany), and the London Independent.

No dolphins and no dolphin killers.  We would not have had a story at all, except for the police who were there, waiting all day for us to appear.  Nine policemen came to talk to us.

Now, I have said this repeatedly:  Unlike the Cove fishermen, the police from this Prefecture have always acted professionally, courteously, and fairly.  I have never been mistreated or threatened by the police here.  I think they are a microcosm of the people of Japan – the very people I am trying to reach about the dolphins!

And as I was talking with the police, as the international journalists stood around listening, suddenly a camera crew arrived from Japan!  And then another!   And then still another!

You have to understand that this is SO IMPORTANT.  These TV stations have REFUSED to cover the story in Taiji for years and years.  NOW, for the first time, they have shown up, with cameras rolling.  The head policeman talking with me even said, for the cameras, that the police are not there to support the dolphin killing fishermen.  We shook hands, and they left.

As I said, it is a good day for the dolphins.  And for me personally, as the police only wanted to talk with me, not arrest me!

“The Cove” movie led to the strong action by the city of Broome, Australia, in suspending the sister-city relationship with Taiji.  So now, the Japanese media are sitting up and listening, for the first time.

And I’m telling them:  “This tour is to show journalists the GOOD things about Taiji.”  You see, with “The Cove” movie out now, we don’t have to show the BAD things about Taiji.  Soon, the whole world will know about the Taiji dolphin slaughter.  And all Japanese will soon know about the cover-up that has occurred by the government in refusing to stop mercury-contaminated dolphin meat from being sold to unsuspecting Japanese consumers and children.

But Taiji can change this image of shame, if they want to.  I will be telling them that the town of Nantucket used to be the capitol of the whale killing industry in the US.  Now, it uses its history of whaling combined with whale-watching to market tourism very successfully.  Whales and dolphins are worth more alive than dead.  Taiji can do this, too.  But the killing has to stop.

Yes, today was a good day for dolphins.  Tomorrow, I will take journalists with me around town to show them Taiji.  Tomorrow, too, I predict will be a good day for dolphins.  Every day that we are here and the fishermen KNOW we are here, will likely mean no boats going out to round up dolphins for the killing Cove.

And because of “The Cove” movie, the dolphin killers must now fear hidden cameras and microphones, even when they THINK we are not here.

And soon the world spotlight from “The Cove” will shine a very bright light on Taiji.