The tuna wars have begun.
Paul Watson and his crew disembarked from Wellington, New Zealand yesterday for a long journey to the Mediterranean in a bid to curtail illegal fishing of bluefin tuna. Unlike the Japanese — who are fairly familiar with the Sea Shepherd’s tactics — fisherman in the Mediterranean may not show the same tolerance for interference with their catches. “The bluefin tuna fishery is controlled by the Italian Corsican mafia – so we’re up against some pretty big bad boys when we go in there,” Watson said.
In an interview with ABC News, Watson added that the SS plan on cutting the nets of illegal fishing vessels targeting bluefin; although how they plan on recognizing who is legit and who isn’t still remains something of a mystery. “The bluefin tuna right now has reached a point where there is less than 15 percent of its original numbers and we’re gonna lose this species unless we intervene.”
Last week Japan successfully rallied against a ban on the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna. The country consumes around three-quarters of the globe’s bluefin catch, with almost all of it served raw as sushi and sashimi.
“The bluefin tuna right now has reached a point where there is less than 15 percent of its original numbers and we’re gonna lose this species unless we intervene,” said Watson.