Ghost fishing, bycatch, illegal fishing, trawling, whaling, marine life captivity, plastic pollution... The list is huge. Please, let's stand up and stop this madness. We have the power to be part of the change by choosing correctly what we consume.
Be conscious about your impact and refuse harming the planet.
It is important not to forget the need for large-scale systemic changes needed internationally to tackle all environmental concerns. This includes longer-term and more effective solutions to the plastic problem – but also extending to more radical large-scale initiatives to reduce consumption, decarbonise economies and move beyond materialism as the basis for our well-being.
The focus needs to be on making the way we live more sustainable by questioning our overly consumerist lifestyles that are at the root of major challenges such as climate change, rather than a narrower focus on sustainable consumer choices – such as buying our takeaway coffee in a reusable cup. We must reform the way we live rather than tweak the choices we make.
Whale-watching is a growing business around Japan, with popular spots from the southern Okinawa islands up to Rausu, a fishing village on the island of Hokkaido, so far north that it's closer to Russia than to Tokyo.
The number of whale watchers around Japan has more than doubled between 1998 and 2015, the latest year for which national data is available. One company in Okinawa had 18,000 customers between January and March this year.
An investigation by the London-based Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) has confirmed earlier estimates that in 2017 saiko fishing – the practice of trans-shipping fish at sea from industrial trawlers to specially adapted canoes – took around 100,000 metric tonnes of fish.