Help us expose the link between Taiji’s slaughter and the captive dolphin trade

Taiji video contest updateIf you have not had a chance to create your video for Sea Shepherd USA’s “From the Cove to Captivity” Taiji video contest, you still have time to send us your entry!

Sea Shepherd USA is now in its final three weeks of seeking submissions for the Taiji video contest. We are asking supporters to create a short video – in English or Japanese – that shows what happens to dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The contest is open to amateur videographers and film students from any country in the world. Contest entrants may use existing footage and photos from the Sea Shepherd USA website and social media channels in their videos

As an incentive, Sea Shepherd USA has increased the prize money that will be awarded to the creators of the two winning videos from $350 to $500 USD. In addition, the winning video creators will also receive a Sea Shepherd prize package including Cove Guardian T-shirts signed by the 2013-2014 Cove Guardians and at least one out-of-production item from the organization’s “vintage vault.” Each runner up will be awarded a Sea Shepherd merchandise prize package, also to include an exclusive item from our “vault.” All entries must be received by the new contest deadline of January 24th.

Each year, from September through March, dolphins and small whales are driven into a small cove in Taiji, and either slaughtered or taken for a life in captivity. Captives are transported to aquariums and marine parks in Taiji or other facilities around the world. Trainers work side-by-side with the killers to select those dolphins and whales suitable for captivity – those without visible nicks and scars – while their remaining family members are viciously slaughtered. The Cove Guardians have proven, through their documentation, that captive selection occurs simultaneously to the slaughter.

In 2003, Sea Shepherd was the first to expose Taiji’s brutal hunt in undercover videos and photos released to the media, and in 2009, the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove revealed this annual massacre to a horrified worldwide audience. Sea Shepherd USA’s dedicated volunteer Cove Guardians have maintained an active presence on the ground in Taiji throughout the hunt season each year since 2010, documenting the atrocities committed by the Taiji Fishermen’s Union. Now, Sea Shepherd would like activists around the world to be a voice for these dolphins and contribute to illuminating the dark secret hidden by Taiji and the captive industry with their own videos. 

As a reminder of what we are looking for, please create a short video – in either English or Japanese – that shows what happens to dolphins and small whales in Taiji, Japan. Your video should expose the stark truth about the brutal Taiji dolphin slaughter and the related international trade in captive dolphins. Your task is to do this without the use of profanity, racism, or direct attacks on any individuals or specific corporations. Be creative, be original, do not infringe on any third-party rights, and keep your video to three (3) minutes or less.

A panel of filmmakers will judge the contest entries. Two winners and two runners up will be selected: one winner and one runner up in English and one winner and one runner up in Japanese. The winning videos will be featured on the official Sea Shepherd Conservation Society website and social media channels.

“We’ve gotten some great videos so far. Let’s make these last three weeks really count,” said Senior Cove Guardians Leader, Melissa Sehgal. “There have been several brutal hunts in Taiji just since the start of the New Year. This contest is a way for just about anyone with a video camera to be a voice for the dolphins.”

Only one entry per person, please, and make sure to accompany your entry with a completed Video Contest Entry FormRead here for complete contest rules and regulations and be sure to check out our videos from veteran Cove Guardians Melissa and Izumi below. We look forward to seeing your creativity in action for the dolphins!

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