As fisheries decline, nations are busy arguing over who's to blame. Japan is pointing to whales as a culprit, and in doing so, drawing the ire of conservationists and scientists.
Japan has claimed that whales' eating habits are responsible for the diminishing numbers of fish. Many say this is because Japan has been campaigning to end the ban on whale hunting and is looking for international support.
At the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, a coalition of conservation groups and scientists accused Japan of dodging responsibility for the declining stocks.
Daniel Pauly, director of a renowned fisheries research center, said whales are "no more responsible than the Martians" and that Japan's accusation "prevents the very small resources of West African countries from being devoted to understanding the real reasons why their fisheries are declining."
According to Dr. Pauly’s decade-long study, only about 1 percent of what whales eat is also desired by human consumers.
He and others blame not whales but East Asian and European fishing fleets trolling the coast of West Africa.
Here's one thing you can do to make sure that doesn't happen: Urge the U.S. Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would ensure that the world's oceans are managed sustainably.
"Two-thirds of fish stocks that supply the global market have been overexploited or fished to maximum capacity; more than half of the world's coral reefs are threatened by human activity; and close to one-fifth of Southeast Asia's reefs have been damaged or destroyed by coral bleaching.