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Tuna defenders to battle poachers — off Libya

Sea Shepherd earlier made name for itself — and got its own reality TV show — by battling Japan's whalers.

Wearing bulletproof vests and backed by a helicopter, activists well known for their anti-whaling campaigns plan to sail into Libyan waters to stop poachers from netting highly endangered bluefin tuna.

Sea Shepherd will send two boats into the war zone — the 190-foot Steve Irwin, named after the Australian conservationist, and the 115-foot Gojira — said Paul Watson, founder of the group based in Friday Harbor, Wash.

In a statement, Sea Shepherd added that the "deck crew and bridge officers have been outfitted with bulletproof vests for this campaign in the event that the poachers are armed and potentially violent."

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