Through the late 70's and early 80's, Earthtrust board member and president Dexter Cate
conducted a series of trips into Japan to try to bring an end
to the practice of large-scale drive-kill fisheries for dolphins.
The Japanese government had put a bounty on the heads of dolphins,
which were driven into bays, knifed to death, and ground up to
be dumped as fertilizer. After years of working with the local
people, in 1980 he intervened in the middle of a drive kill, releasing
some 200 dolphins from Tatsunoshima Island nets in the dead of
night by untying them. He then turned himself in to local authorities,
who incarcerated him in Sasebo Prison for 80 days before deportation.
During this period, the world focus on Japan's drive-kills brought
the issue to a much higher profile. Dexter's ongoing work also
presaged ET invesitagations into "dolphin sold as whale",
which he discovered in the early '80's.