The Greek-American who revealed the annual slaughter of 23,000 dolphins
L. Psihoyos was born in America by immigrant parents. His origins are from Sparta in Peloponnesos. Photography has always been his greatest love. He first started photography as a hobby and then it turned to be his profession. His pictures were used by hundreds of magazines, among them the “Time”, “Newsweek», «Fortune» and «Sports Illustrated.
However, a rather random event dramatically changed his professional thinking and his life in general. Being witness in a slaughterhouse in 1986, he had decided that he will not eat meat again. Having developed ecological consciousness he is driving only electric cars today, and he has installed dozens of home solar panels that cover the energy needs of his family. Using his knowledge and professional training, he has created a film about an eco-crime. “Τhe Cove”, gave him an Oscar for best documentary, was his first movie project and has totally gained more than 60 awards!
As he argues, his film is a documentary, and it is not just about the slaughter of dolphins but for human beings’ health as well, as in Japan people eat dolphin meat, which has been demonstrated by specific measurements, to be highly toxic, as it contains mercury in quantities that are dangerous for children and pregnant women.
According to L. Psihoyos the labels in the Japanese market do not indicate its toxicity, and dolphin meat is often sold as whale meat which is more expensive. In some areas, parents force their children to eat dolphin meat from young age, in order to become accustomed to the taste.
It is worth noting that Psihoyos had many problems while filming the documentary. This is because at the Taitzi, a small fishing village in the Pacific Ocean where no one can imagine the ecological crime which is taking place, things can be even more dangerous. In the bay where the locals slaughter the dolphins for a six month period, no one can approach as the area is guarded by local police.
Thus, the Greek-American director was forced to use methods of warfare, thermal and hidden cameras, divers and army fatigues, in order to collect the material.
According to activists, a total amount of 23 000 dolphins are annually slaughtered in Taitzi Bay. The ones that are not killed sold in entertainment parks around the world, pricing from $145,000 to $200,000 per head.
In 2005 Psihoyos co-founded the non-profit organization, “Oceanic Preservation Society” (OPS). The objective of OPS is to educate the public on what is happening to 70% of the Earth (the oceans) and to promote individuals to make a difference so that future generations will have an enriched environment, not a diminishing one