Our History

Ric O’Barry rehabilitating Joe and Rosie

Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the organization aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, retire and/or release captive dolphins. 

The mission of Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins for retirement and/or release, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.

Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world’s attention to the brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Taiji, Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary “The Cove,” we successfully negotiated for an end to the dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is a cruel and outdated practice.

Ric O’Barry has been working towards these goals for over 50 years, and continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering. Since 1970, when Ric attempted to free a captive dolphin in Bimini, he has since readapted and/or released over 20 dolphins back into the wild.

Dolphin Project is the longest-running anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world. Our mission today remains the same as it did in 1970: Let’s protect dolphins together!

Read highlights of Dolphin Project’s 50 years working on behalf of dolphins across the world.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible as authorized by law.

© 2020 Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project. All Rights Reserved.


171 Pier Ave. #234
Santa Monica, CA 90405