Greenpeace activist injured and boats sunk in attempt to halt bluefin tuna fishing

Posted by jamie — 4 June 2010 at 3:34pm - Comments

Activists are pulled from the sea as one of our inflatables sinks © Parsons/Greenpeace

Some disturbing news is coming in from the Mediterranean where, for the past two weeks, the Rainbow Warrior and the Arctic Sunrise have been waiting for the bluefin tuna fishing season to begin. As Willie (who's on board the Arctic Sunrise) reported earlier in the week, they've been waiting along with the fishing fleet for the bad weather to subside and the tuna to arrive.

It's been a long, frustrating wait for the crew but finally, this afternoon the waiting was over. Having found a fishing vessel - the Jean Marie Christian 6 - towing a purse-seine net, both ships launched inflatables with the intention of submerging one side of the net to free the tuna trapped within, but the crews of other fishing vessels intervened in a manner which can only be described as the direct opposite of peaceful and proportional.

One of the UK activists has been injured by (and I'm wincing as I type) a grappling hook through the leg. He's being evacuated to hospital but I'm told he'll be okay. We've also lost two inflatables which were slashed with knives then sunk when the fishing vessels ran over them.

A difficult start then but our two ships in the Med are going to keep taking action to shut down the bluefin fishing operations.

More updates soon.

About Jamie

I'm a forests campaigner working mainly on Indonesia. My personal mumblings can be found @shrinkydinky.

Follow Greenpeace UK