Tuna Wars pp 237-246 | Cite as

Tuna Deus ex Machina

  • Steven Adolf


In the era of the Phoenicians, when large-scale tuna fisheries started to conquer human civilisation, the Greeks were the great storytellers of the Mediterranean. One famous technique in the Greek theatre was the deus ex machina (ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός): when the tragedy was unfolding in a rather predictable and thus boring way, the plot could suddenly change totally unexpectedly, sometimes against all logic, bringing a new dynamic to the storyline and refreshing the attention of the audience. A god might enter the stage to change the course of the story by some divine intervention. In modern language it was a ‘god from the machine’. (Aeschylus, writer of the The Persians where the invaders were slaughtered as if they were tuna, was famous for his use of deus ex machina. In the end it is all connected tuna).


  1. 32.
    BBC News (2018) ‘Illegal’ Libya fishing concerns. In: BBC News. Accessed 9 Nov 2018
  2. 75.
    Druel E (2018) Fisheries laws need time to perform, not reform. In: ClientEarth. Accessed 9 Nov 2018
  3. 80.
    EJF, Oceana, PEW, WWF (2016) The EU IUU regulation: building on success. BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  4. 239.
    The Malta Independent (2018) 5,000 kilos of tuna allegedly smuggled to Malta each week, and exported to EU states. In: Accessed 9 Nov 2018
  5. 88.
    Europol (2018) How the illegal bluefin tuna market made over EUR 12 million a year selling fish in Spain. In: Europol. Accessed 12 Nov 2018
  6. 240.
    The Malta Independent (2018) Europol: bluefin tuna illegally caught in Maltese waters exported to Spain for millions. In: Accessed 12 Nov 2018
  7. 261.
    WWF (2018) €12.5 million illegal bluefin tuna trade exposes threat to sustainable fisheries in Europe. In: Accessed 12 Nov 2018
  8. 189.
    Pauly D, Zeller D (2016) Catch reconstructions reveal that global marine fisheries catches are higher than reported and declining. Nat Commun 7:10244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Adolf
    • 1
  1. 1.AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations