Ric O’Barry, a prominent advocate for ending the dolphin hunt in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, was detained Tuesday by immigration authorities at Narita International Airport.
O’Barry, who was featured prominently in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” about the Taiji hunt, was barred entry when immigration officials reportedly said he is not a tourist, the visa he was using to enter Japan.
Immigration officials at Narita said it is their policy not to comment on individual cases. O’Barry’s lawyer, Takashi Takano, said he has appealed the decision to deny him entry.
According to Takano, O’Barry told him that the officials accused him of having close relations with the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, which O’Barry denies.
Before he became a prominent advocate for protecting dolphins, O’Barry was the trainer for the TV series “Flipper.”