The Slaughter of the Bluefin Tuna Must be Halted

Bluefin tunaThe Mediterranean Sea must be closed to commercial fishing, and especially to the fishing of the bluefin tuna.

"The bluefin tuna will be commercially extinct within three years unless governments act now, act decisively and act aggressively," said Captain Paul Watson, Executive Director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "Anyone who catches a bluefin, anyone who buys and sells a bluefin, and anyone who eats a bluefin tuna is an ecological criminal."

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is looking for a ship, volunteers, and sponsors to finance a major interventionist campaign against illegal fishing in the Mediterranean.

"There are more than 600 poaching vessels operating in the Mediterranean and they are literally wiping the living resources into extinction," said Captain Paul Watson. "We must intervene and we must take whatever risks are required to drive these criminals from the sea. We have the experience and the courage to take on these thugs, all we need is the support."

Actor Robert De Niro as a co-owner of the notorious Nobu restaurant chain has refused to use his influence to stop Nobu from purchasing bluefin and other endangered fish. "This makes him an ecological criminal in our book," said Captain Watson. "He does not need the money. It is a mystery as to why a man with the stature of De Niro has chosen to be in cahoots with poachers. He is paid well to act as a gangster, is he so greedy that he now wants to be one?"

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society holds the position that the worldwide catch of bluefin tuna must be reduced to zero.

The Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan is buying all the bluefin tuna they can get and freezing it, literally investing in the extinction of this magnificent warm-blooded, unique fish. Once gone, the bluefin will be extremely rare and Mitsubishi will be able to name their price.

Because of the avarice of companies like Nobu and Mitsubishi, worldwide populations of bluefin have been reduced by 90%, perhaps more.

"The killing must stop," said Sea Shepherd France President Lamya Essemlali. "This continued slaughter is intolerable."

The European Union quotas are being ignored. The regulations are being ignored. bluefin is being smuggled out of Europe like an expensive drug. From poacher to buyers to consumers, the trafficking in bluefin is a billion dollar criminal enterprise.

Tuna fishing is managed by the Madrid-based International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. This is a corrupt body that is only interested in protecting the investments of the fishing industries in its 45 member countries. They ignore their own science and have been setting quotas twice as high as the industry scientists are recommending.

Turkey is demanding higher quotas, and the poachers from various nations ignore the quotas altogether.

"Give me a ship and the resources to intervene," said Captain Watson, "And I will patrol the Mediterranean on a campaign to destroy the nets of every illegally operated fishing vessel we can track down. We need to get tough on these poachers before we lose the bluefin forever."

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