Depleted by years of heavy commercial fishing, Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna stocks could, according to some reports, go extinct by as early as 2012.
Staring down the seeming inevitable, two concerned Belgians didn’t blink—they made an animation.
“It seemed an impossible challenge for two advertising students to save the bluefin,” write Diederik Jeangout and Michael Dilissen in an email to TakePart. “And that’s why we did it.”
The animation is the start of a larger, more hands-on campaign the duo plans to wage to resuscitate the bluefin. Their pressing goal is to gear up for a summer of subterfuge in the waters of the Mediterranean.
Night vision goggles, marine grade binoculars, wetsuits—if you happen to own an extra pair or set of these or other black ops marine gear, the duo is asking that you donate them to their campaign.
“Even if you have something secondhand lying in your basement: everything can help us,” write Jeangout and Dilissen.
The bluefin’s spawning stock has plummeted nearly 75 percent since 1974, according to a 2009 report, Looting the Seas, which found that thousands of tons of bluefin tuna are illegally caught and traded every year.
Because the tuna lives near the top of the oceanic food chain, it demise, experts warn, could cause a ripple effect throughout marine ecosystems across the world, potentially leaving the seas overrun by jellyfish and microorganisms.
Capable of growing to 1,500 pounds and valued as high-end sushi, adult bluefin can sell for as much as $150,000 per fish.