Our History

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project History

Who We Are

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.

Our Mission

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.

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Our Work

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 shut down the barbaric traveling dolphin circus in Indonesia. We have 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 And, we continue to raise awareness that captivity is a cruel and outdated practice.

Dolphin Project is actively engaged in our Dolphin Sanctuary Project, which aims to rehabilitate and release captive dolphins where feasible, and to establish sanctuaries to serve as permanent homes for captive dolphins that cannot safely return to the wild. In 2019, we helped establish the world’s first and only permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for formerly captive dolphins, the Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center in Bali, Indonesia.

Measurable Progress for Dolphins

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Our Team

Dolphin Project Founder/Director Ric O’Barry has been working towards these goals for over 54 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.

You Can Help Protect Dolphins Today

Dolphin Project is the longest-running anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world: See highlights from the past 50 years.

Your support is a vital part of our campaigns to put an end to dolphin slaughter and captive exploitation worldwide. Our mission today remains the same as it did in 1970: Let’s protect dolphins together!

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Join the pod and take the pledge to NOT buy a ticket to dolphins captive facilities!

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Learn more about dolphin exploitation and slaughter, and help spread the word.

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Sign petitions, contact authorities and take action to help protect dolphins all over the world.

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Explore giving options to support our mission to protect dolphins all over 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. IRS 990s: 2022 2021 2020

© 2024 Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project. All Rights Reserved.

171 Pier Ave. #234
Santa Monica, CA 90405