Sea Shepherd Saves 800 Endangered Bluefin Tuna From Poachers - With Rotten Butter


Photo via National Geographic

Sea Shepherd's tactics may turn some heads, and draw the ire of many, but the activist group is proving itself incredibly effective. First, reports have surfaced that Sea Shepherd may have slashed Japan's illegal whaling catch by half. Now, in yet another daring exploit, the group's divers have saved 800 of the most endangered fish on earth, the Bluefin Tuna, from poachers -- using rotten butter to aid the rescue operation.The Guardian reports:

Green activists using helicopters, divers and rotten butter yesterday confronted Libyan and Italian fishermen to release hundreds of threatened bluefin tuna which they strongly suspect were illegally caught off the Libyan coast.

In the first action of its kind in north African waters, the international crew of the California-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society released around 800 tuna from a cage being towed behind the Italian trawler Cesare Rustico.

And what does an activist group do with rotten butter, exactly? They hurl the foul-smelling stuff at their foes to create confusion, of course.


Photo via Guardian

Then, as you can see in the picture above, divers cut the nets holding the fish captive, setting the tuna free.

Bluefin tuna are one of the most valuable fish in the world -- and as a result, they're fast becoming extinct. High demand for the fish in Japan, where it's used in high-end sashimi, is one of the primary reasons that it has been devastatingly overfished in recent years. And yes, you may have read about one of the Bluefin tuna's few breeding grounds -- in the Gulf of Mexico -- being direly threatened by the BP spill. Scientists say that unless fishing is halted, or at least slowed dramatically, the bluefin will be entirely extinct in a matter of years. Unfortunately Japan persuaded China to block a trade ban proposed by the UN, so it remains legal to catch, albeit in limited numbers.

But those limited numbers are often 'overlooked' by poachers who recognize the bluefin's value, and such regulations are frequently violated. Which is why activist groups like Sea Shepherd are poised to become heroes to many, and a scourge to fisherman -- as they've already proved themselves to be both whaling arena.

More on Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin Tuna Doesn't Stand a Chance Against EU's Industrial Fishing
Save a Species: Stop Eating Bluefin Tuna (At Least for Awhile)

Tags: Activism | Animals | Conservation