Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Cove

I was encouraged to see the connection between my feature in issue 263 on the Oscar winning documentary ‘The Cove’ and the blog posts of Leah Lemieux. It seems the plight of the Dolphins are once again on the local and global media radar. I remember the first time round. I lived in Ireland for a year in 1997. Part of the journey to the Ring of Kerry was to discover for myself the local folklore of the famous Dingle Bay Dolphin, Funghi. Dolphin mania seemed to be everywhere. This incredible sea creature brought a huge boost in local eco tourism as well as a connection to the natural world that has literally changed the lives of thousands.
As a result of indiscriminate tuna fishing uncovered in the eighties, the general public realised that Dolphins were in need of urgent protection. Public sympathy was sparked. My close friend and producer Tor Cotton made the acclaimed documentary, ‘The Dolphin’s Gift’, about Funghi. The film was a success with a suitably earnest narration by John Hurt.
I worked in the press office of the Environmental Investigation Agency in the early nineties and was honoured to work with the man who got the camera on board the ship where dolphins, inadvertently caught in the tuna fishing nets, were routinely having their fins cut off and thrown back into the sea to die. Gruesomely caught on his undercover camera, the fate of the Dolphin was given massive global media profile and the senseless killings, for the most part, were stopped in their tracks. Dolphin friendly tuna logos on supermarket cans worldwide soon followed.
And so, the cycle has begun again. We find ourselves in a new urgent, dolphin saving time with, among many others, the horrific issues raised in ‘The Cove’.

My experiences swimming with Funghi were not life changing but they had a powerful, lasting effect; as do the stories of those who have looked into his all seeing eye and found themselves changed forever. Swimming In his watery world I was deeply humbled, and a little scared; reminded of my natural place on land and the respect I have, and must have, for the sea. The dolphins power and place in the ocean is without question. So we must protect and respect their right to live fully and freely; as they did for millennia; long before we entered their sacred world and changed it forever.

Caspar Walsh is Film Editor for Resurgence magazine and a wilderness and writing teacher. His new novel, Blood Road is available from Headline.


  1. Dear Caspar, thank you deeply for sharing this!
    For the dolphins and our beloved blue-green world! Bless! ~Leah

  2. Interesting piece, thank you for sharing. Interesting as I have recently been in contact with Resurgence about setting up a readers group over on the west coast of Ireland. Interesting because less than two weeks ago, I met a dolphin whilst out surfing. It was the first time this has happened to me and an experience that will last forever.

    Readers of Resurgence and indeed this article may find my humble blog of interest, with artciles and information on philosophy, art, nature, spirit and of course, surfing.

    This is my latest post about "the power of belief'

    Read, enjoy, comment, share...