5 THINGS SEASPIRACY TAUGHT US
Seaspiracy is the latest Netflix documentary that has taken over social media. If you haven’t already watched it, British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi dives deep into the destructive industry that is industrial fishing.
Spoiler alert, here are 5 things Seaspiracy taught us...
THE BIGGEST PLASTIC POLLUTION IN OUR OCEAN
With the current hype about using reusable straws anywhere and everywhere, we were shocked to find out that they make up only 0.03% of total plastic waste, as Seaspiracy claims. According to seaspiracy, the real villain here is actually abandoned fishing equipment, which accounts for a whopping 46% of trash in the ocean. As you know, fishing gear is designed to catch and kill marine life, but the hard truth is that it continues to do so even when it is abandoned or lost at sea, killing or injuring over 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals and turtles every year.
SHARKS ARE NOT THE ENEMY
… we are! On average, sharks kill around 10 people per year, and by comparison, we kill 11,000-30,000 sharks per hour! This is a sad and shocking statistic to read especially as sharks play such an important role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem that keeps our oceans healthy. They keep the fish stocks healthy, which keeps the ecosystems alive, which keeps the coral reefs alive.
“USING A BULLDOZER TO CATCH A BUTTERFLY”
Is how marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle described Bottom Trawling, which involves dragging large heavy nets along the seafloor in order to catch fish. But in the process of dragging these incredibly large and heavy nets, the ships destroy vital habitats, with a shocking 3.9 billion acres of seafloor having been already lost due to trawling.
SLAVERY AT SEA
You’ve probably heard of blood diamonds, but ‘blood shrimp’ is the concern out at sea with slavery in the seafood industry having been reported in 47 countries. In the documentary, several interviews were taken place with former fishermen and they shared stories of how they were kept against their will in inhumane situations, abused and threatened at gunpoint.
FISH ARE FRIENDS, NOT FOOD
Yes this is a quote from one of our favourite Pixar movies, but in reality it is one of the best ways we are going to save our oceans. As there is currently less than 1% of our oceans protected from commercial fishing, yet still there is an estimated 2.7 trillion fish caught each year!
Throughout the documentary, they explore different options to help preserve our oceans, such as eating more sustainable fish or to only fish from farms rather than from the wild, but they discover that the best way to save the fish is to leave them alone - so seriously reducing our consumption of fish and other seafood is the best way forward.
But not only that, we can also do our bit to protect our oceans by establishing ‘no take zones’ for fishing around the world, as well as “pushing for legislative laws and improved enforcement of existing laws” as much of the planet’s population will be unaware of the issue at hand or they simply won’t be able to afford a vegan diet, says marine biologist Daniel Pauly.
If you’ve made it this far and you have a sudden desire to take action, some of the ways you can help is by joining a NGO that’s fighting for change or sign this petition, created by the directors of Seaspiracy, to help protect 30% of the oceans by 2030.