by Michael dEstries
Categories: Film/TV.


The dolphin-slaughter documentary The Cove continued its quest for an Oscar with a key win at the 2009 Critics Choice Awards for “Best Documentary”.

While the Golden Globes, which took place last weekend, paint a rough picture of who might win an Academy Award, it’s the Critics Choice Awards for documentary filmmakers that really get the hopes high. This is because, interestingly enough, the Golden Globes have not awarded a “Best Documentary Film” award since 1973, when Elvis Presley took home the honor for Elvis on Tour.

The Cove beat out other likely Oscar nominees like the brilliant Food, INC., Michael Jackson’s This Is It, and Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. It was also recently selected for “The David Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking” for the 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The award “celebrates not just nature film making, but environmental causes,” said organizer Roger Durling, “and no better film has done it that The Cove this year.”

Oscar nominations are announced February 2nd.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Lochy Jones

    The cove – just one of many documentarys highlighting the plight to save the dolphins and whales that get rounded up and brutally slain in waters every year by the Japanese. Hopefully more eyes shine on Japan and its brutal ways (the Whaling expeditions as well). Just awful

    • Billy Jean is my lover

      Tell me about it. Not just the cove but they are out there killing whales and everything else. Blue fin tuna fishing etc.. They need to be stood up do. Scum bags!

      • bockscar

        Yeah, the “Research” involves a fleet of mechanised modern ships complete with security escort. unbelievable. Butchering whales in the name of Science, publishing ZERO papers and wow, the meat ends up in the markets for consumption.

        Great lie Japan.

      • Graham Pilly

        Funny thing is, they ram other ships and claim they were rammed. Even funnier is their argument that whales deplete fish stocks and prevent larger whales from recovering.

        They even claimed the Ady-Gil was firing Arrows at the Shonan Maru. Moral of the story is take everything they say with a grain of salt. Great PR / Propaganda.

      • Mick

        What lie?

        The IWC has mandated that before limited commercial whaliing can be resumed a country must submit scientific evidence that the hunt would be sustainable. The ICR is currently doing research to provide the scientific evidence that a limited commercial hunt would be sustainable. The ICR has never tried to hide this fact.
        This is the first year they sent ships to act as a security escort. An escort that they would not need if not for the illegal attacks by SS.
        The ICR has indeed published papers and submits regular reports to the IWC scientific commitee for review.
        The IWC regulations require that the whale meat be utilized as much as possible. Or perhaps you would rather they throw it away?

      • grumpy old man

        Well Mick what do you reckon?

        The ICR is a bogus outfit. The IWC requirements were hammered in their by the Japanese. The two acronymns are synonymous. In other words its all a farce to butcher whales in a santuary for consumption. It ain’t research. 900 dead whales for reasearch? Yeah right scum bag.

        There has not been 1 illegal attacks by the SSCS so I do not know why you made that up.

      • abacus

        Australia needs to use the Antarctic Treaty System, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or the International Court of Justice to take action against these Japanese savages!!!

      • Mick

        Grumpy old man,

        The IWC was formed by in 1946 under the lead of the U.S.

        Article VIII was established at the same time in 1946.

        “It ain’t research.” In your opinion. However, the IWC scientific committee disagrees with you.

        “There has not been 1 illegal attacks by the SSCS so I do not know why you made that up.”

        Not illegal? Perhaps you can provide a link that says boarding other ships on the high seas without permission is legal? Where does it say that hurling glass bottles of acid at other ships in international waters is legal? What does Maritime Law have to say about attempting to foul the props of other ships at sea? Has the Australian government authorized SS to act as law enforcement? Has ANY country or legitamite policing authority authorized SS to act as law enforcement?

      • SarahMC

        The ‘illegal’ part the Japanese whalers are participating in is the FACT that they are whaling in a whale SANCTUARY. I mean, other than the fact that the Japanese whalers are hiding behind the sham of research, because I’m sure we all believe that to take tissue samples and check the contents of their stomaches over a thousand whales need to be brutily slaughtered every year. But Japanese whalers are not the only ones who do this, Norway and Iceland do not even abide by regulations. They set their own quotas and kill as many whales as they see fit for food consumption. The question is how much of this whale meat is actually bought? Well it seems that our friends to the north have grown out of the need to eat (and I QUOTE)”organic whale”. More than half the whales killed are wasted, including their blubber. I’ve read reports on how the whales are killed in the ‘most humane’ way possible (they say under two minutes, and that it is unusual for it to take longer) but when you see (not only from the S.S but from British documentuary’s where they were INVITED to witness the kills)the harpoon go off, miss the heart, which means, basically, a small bomb just went off in their back, destroying interal organs but not killing the whale, to five or six shots of a shot gun to finally incapacitate and kill the whale. ‘Humane killing’, why yes I’m sure we all see that.

  • ddpalmer

    yeah and the Australians too. they kill more Blue fin tuna than anyone else. In fact the world quota is 11,530 MT and Australia’s is 5,265 MT that is 45.6% while Japan’s quota is only 3,000 MT or 26%. And Australia was one of only 3 countries whose quota wasn’t reduced.

    • abacus

      @DDPALMER: If you want to talk bluefin, fine, but the discussions are about the CRUEL BUTCHERING OF DOLPHINS tough man.

      • Bundle of kent

        It is a national disgrace that Japan foists meat that is basically toxic waste on its own populace in the form of school lunches and meals at public facilities such as old age homes and hospitals as a means of subsidising its national policy on whaling. This is nothing less than a repeat of the Minamata disaster perpetrated by Chisso chemical and abetted by the national bureaucracy in Japan. Don’t forget about Mitsubishi’s investment in extinction (Blue Fin Tuna).

      • ddpalmer


        Then take up your outrage with Billy Jean who brought up blue fin tuna.

  • ddpalmer

    Oh come on bockscar don’t sell yourself short. You lie much better than Japan does. You know there have been many papers publish from the Japanese research. Heck the recent paper from the University of Oregon about the Antarctic Minke population uses data from the Japanese. And there is a long history in the Western world of butchering animals for science. In fact it continues in Western countries even today.

    • Billy Jean is my lover

      Yeah and guess what? Japan consistently exceeds their quotas of Blue Fin Massively. Just last year it was unearthed that they were taking WAY more then they should have been.

      And where does 90% of the Blue Fin tuna that gets caught end up? JAPAN!

      • ddpalmer

        Yeah and guess what you are as big a liar as bockscar. Japan has never exceeded any of their whale quotas. Nice job making up that 90% stat. Paul Watson would be proud of you. And whatever the percentage is the countries that catch the tuna don’t share the blame do they? It is just the Japanese.

    • bockscar

      Well of course animal testing goes on everywhere. Thats a another topic altogether. In case you missed the head line, this was about the brutal slaying of dolphins, pilot whales etc in the cove.

      and as a side note, the brutal killers also have 2 “research” expeditions. Why do I need to lie? I’ve got nothing to lie about. The thing is, the Japanese are good at pedalling propaganda – they have been doing it for a long time now.

      • ddpalmer

        Exactly you don’t need to lie.

        So why do you keep lying?

    • SaveMeSaveYou

      1. The Japanese are whaling in violation of the International Whaling Commission’s global moratorium on commercial whaling. The IWC scientific committee does not recognize the research that the Japanese are using as an excuse.
      2. The Japanese are killing whales in the internationally recognised Southern Ocean Sanctuary for whales.
      3. The Japanese are killing whales unlawfully in the Australian Antarctic Territory (Australian Law – Federal Court judgement January 2008 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)
      4. The Japanese are targeting fin whales and humpback whales. One is listed as an endangered species and the other listed as a threatened species. This is a violation of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, of which both Japan and Australia are signatories.
      5. The Japanese are in violation of IWC regulation 19. (a) The IWC regulations in the Schedule to the Convention forbid the use of factory ships to process any protected stock: 19. (a) It is forbidden to use a factory ship or a land station for the purpose of treating any whales which are classified as Protection Stocks in paragraph 10. Paragraph 10(c) provides a definition of Protection Stocks and states that Protection Stocks are listed in the Tables of the Schedule. Table 1 lists all the baleen whales, including minke, fin and humpback whales and states that all of them are Protection Stocks.
      6. The IWC regulations specifically ban the use of factory ships to processy any whales except minke whales: Paragraph 10(d) provides: “(d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of paragraph 10 there shall be a moratorium on the taking, killing or treating of whales, except minke whales, by factory ships or whale catchers attached to factory ships. This moratorium applies to sperm whales, killer whales and baleen whales, except minke whales.”
      7. the presence of military/ security forces breaches the Antarctic treaty
      8. the whaling fleet regularly refuels in the treaty zone below 60 degrees south in breach of the Antarctic treaty. In October 2008 the whaling fleet’s refueling and cargo vessel, Oriental Bluebird, was deflagged following a ruling by Panamian Authorities. The maximum fine of 10,000 Balboas (US$10,000) was imposed on the owners of the ship, Hiyo Shipping Co. Ltd, in Japan who on October 8th removed its Panamanian registration and flag. Japan has ratified an international treaty which seeks to end the practice of ‘re-flagging’ vessels in order to circumvent international environmental law.
      9. the Whaling fleet fails to submit Environmental Management Plans in case of a maritime disaster in the Treaty zone which breaches the Antarctic treaty. The Nisshin Maru factory ship caught fire in 2007 losing all power including to its engines. One crew member died. An environmental disaster was threatened, but did not eventuate.

      • ddpalmer

        How many more times is one of you going to copy and paste this?

        Ever one of the 9 points has been shown to be wrong and repeating them over and over will not change that.

  • dogs out

    It’s a question of selfish pride Japan, Norway and Iceland simply feel they have the right to kill these endangered mammals who already face the perils of ship collisions, polluted seas and climate change.

    • Sherwood Forrest

      selfish pride is an understatement. Hopfully SS reduces their catch this year and they hurt financially again (Hasn’t the country been hurting financially since late 80’s?). A

      Disgrace that every Japanese should be shamed of (perhaps they dont even know about this?) No freedom of speech / free media?

      • Gummy Bear

        No they dont. The average Japanese has no idea about the outside world really. Just the way the Japanese govt likes it. Better control that way you see. So when you bring up Whaling, they dont know what you are talking about.

        Its really only the older Gen that eats the meat. Remember, after WW2 they started commercial whaling as they were starving etc. So the cultural claims are a bit off. I would not say its a cherished tradition either. I’d say its more like an adventure for them. A proxy war of sorts? i mean look at the place, highest suicides rates, women only trains because of out of control groping, the fashion, the game shows, the place is WEIRDDDDDDDDD

      • Mick

        Gummy Bear,

        I can assure you that average Japanese people are well aware of the “outside world”. Most Japanese people are well aware of whaling, as well.
        People of all ages eat whale meat. Granted, people 40 and over eat it more than younger people, however young people eat it too.
        People in coastal villages in Japan have been hunting whales and eating whale meat for hundreds of years. Japan did not start large scale whaling far from their coastal waters until after WW II.
        In other words, more people ate whale meat after the war, however, Japanese people have been hunting whales for hundreds of years before that.