Taking action to free bluefin tuna

Posted by jamie — 14 June 2010 at 4:08pm - Comments

The crews of the Arctic Sunrise and the Rainbow Warrior have once more come to the aid of Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean. Although the fishing season has ended early because the quotas have been reached, there are still large cages out there filled with fish caught over the past couple of weeks. These cages are bound for tuna 'ranches', where the fish will be kept and fattened up, before being slaughtered.

Yesterday afternoon our activists again tried to free the endangered tuna from one of these cages.

The dramatic events played out over a full two hours. Seven Greenpeace inflatables were launched, and the Arctic Sunrise was deployed right up against the cage. Our activists tried repeatedly to free the tuna from the cage, despite once again being met by fierce and violent resistance from the fishermen.?? As well as verbal and physical threats being made, knives were brandished, flares fires, and one of our inflatables was rammed. Even the Maltese navy joined in, firing water cannons at our activists from their ship and sending up a helicopter to survey the scene.

With the tuna fishermen more intent on protecting their short-term profits, and the Maltese navy being intent on defending the ongoing destruction of Atlantic bluefn, it became impossible to release any fish. The images and video show how much effort our teams put into the action.

Cutting securing lines on a cage holding bluefin tuna

Cutting the securing lines on a cage holding bluefin tuna © Parsons/Greenpeace

And we are doing this because it is so urgently necessary. If these cages were full of gorillas, tigers, or rhinos, no one would think twice about condemning it or stopping it. Just like those species, a lucrative trade in hunting has driven Atlantic bluefin to the very brink of extinction. That's why our crews are still out in the Med, trying as best they can to free these endangered tuna.

And you can take steps to protect bluefin tuna too by asking for a marine reserve in the Med - email the Spanish environment minister now.

About Jamie

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

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