One of Japan's favorite foods is about to become harder to get and more expensive. Consumers may soon discover just how rapidly Pacific bluefin tuna stocks are being depleted. A survey in July found that the Pacific bluefin stock of over 3 years old has fallen to near record lows. In response, Japan has proposed a 15 percent cut in catches of tuna three years old and under.

The current crisis should come as no surprise since the same problem happened with Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks. Those Atlantic tuna populations have been depleted to levels from which they may not recover and though Pacific stocks are larger, Japan's proposal may be too little too late.

Most scientific committees and studies, such as the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species In the North Pacific Ocean and the World Wildlife Fund, have pointed out that current levels of fishing are unsustainable.