Conservation group Sea Shepherd will be entering the waters off war-torn Libya next month in an effort to save bluefin tuna.

They went there last year with the same objective, but this time NATO-backed rebel forces are struggling to topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

President Paul Watson says they're going there now because the European Union has imposed a moratorium on fishing in Libyan waters because of the war.

"Quite a few of the poachers are going to take advantage of that situation so we're going to be taking our vessels, the Steve Irwin and the Gojira, and any bluefin tuna poachers we find, we'll intervene and cut their nets and free the fish," he told Newstalk ZB.

He says spotting the poachers will be easy because the ban on fishing means any vessel they find is going to be there illegally.

Mr Watson says it's a dangerous situation, but they're anticipating poachers will take advantage of an EU ban on fishing in Libyan waters.

"I think we'll keep our position quite known to the naval forces. I'm not too worried about Libya because they're not allowed to fly over that area, in fact I think our position will be a lot safer than it was last year really."

Paul Watson says the bluefin tuna are facing extinction, with the population only at 8 per cent of their original numbers.

- Newstalk ZB