By spring of 1990, the three major tuna brands agreed to process only dolphin-safe tuna, resulting in a 95 percent reduction in dolphin kills. Months later LaBudde returned to sea, this time to document open-ocean driftnetting, a destructive fishing method using nets 50 to 60 kilometers long. With this video footage, LaBudde led a campaign that resulted in a 1992 United Nations resolution banning the use of driftnets. Later he also lobbied for the passage of legislation which banned imports of tuna that is not dolphin-safe into European Union countries.
LaBudde continued to expose other forms of wildlife slaughter, including the illegal killing of walrus in Alaska for the ivory trade. He used his Goldman Prize money to establish the Endangered Species Project (ESP) to prevent species extinction and to foster preservation efforts for wilderness habitats. ESP also distributes portable video cameras to environmental and human rights activists around the world.
In 1994 LaBudde and ESP spearheaded efforts to expose Asia’s illegal black market trade in endangered species which resulted in the U.S. implementation of trade sanctions against Taiwan for illegal commerce in rhino horn and tiger bone, and passage of domestic legislation in China, South Korea and Hong Kong to ban the trade. LaBudde and ESP also helped to establish and fund the Siberian Tiger Sanctuary in Eastern Russia. He also worked to create bioreserves in wilderness areas for endangered species, including a project for chimpanzees and lowland gorillas in Africa’s vanishing rainforest.