Last updated: 28 october, 2009 - 16:51 GMT

Secrets of The Deep

The dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan

The dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan

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Dolphin trainer turned activist Ric O’Barry says there’s a darker truth to the ‘happy smiling face’ of the much-loved, playful dolphin.

Ric was the dolphin trainer for the 1960s TV programme Flipper - the story of a young boy who befriends a clever dolphin.

The film was so heart-warming it popularised dolphinariums all around the world.

But when one of the dolphins died in Ric’s arms he realised the true harm of captivity.

The death was to change his life forever. Since then he's been an outspoken campaigner to free dolphins from captivity, even running into trouble with police.

And now he's at the centre of a new documentary called The Cove, revealing the darker side of the dolphin trade in Japan.

Free diver with dolphins

Free diver with dolphins

Ric was so appalled by the annual slaughter of dolphins in the town of Taiji, Japan, he wanted to expose the truth.

But the dark activities in the cove were so secretive he had to go undercover, dodging death threats to tell his story.

Ric spoke to Matthew Bannister and described how the tragic death of Cathy the TV dolphin led him to a tiny sea cove in Japan.

click Ric O'Barry's campaign

Ric O'Barry: exposing the secret dolphin trade in The Cove

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