Documentary Review: Seaspiracy

By Mia Currie

Seaspiracy is a new Netflix documentary that sheds light on the issues contaminating oceans. Seaspiracy attempts to uncover what is really going on beneath the surface with regards to “dolphin-safe tuna”, “sustainable fishing”, and the “MSC” stamp. 

Overfishing has been an issue for many years, and the mass killings which are happening in the ocean are unparalleled to those on land. When fishing boats go out to catch fish, they additionally catch sharks, turtles, and even dolphins which end up being killed and discarded back into the ocean. This problem has caused the desolation of the shark population as well as the increased bribing of observers on fishing boats. These observers are hired to make sure that the “bycatch” isn’t killed and are rather put back into the ocean. But this does not usually happen. When people buy “dolphin-safe tuna” there is actually no guarantee the fish they bought is actually clean. One of the biggest appeals to eating fish is the omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely good for our health. In reality, these nutrients come from the algae which fish eat and are absorbed into their muscles. Therefore, there is no need to actually eat fish. In addition, fish are full of toxins such as mercury, PCBs, PBDEs, dioxins, and pesticides. According to research, there is no such thing as “clean fish” anymore because of how dirty our oceans are. Fish are not only filled with toxins but also with micro-plastics which are plastic particles that have been broken down by the sun and are consumed by fish.

The documentary also brings up the reality of “sustainable fishing,” which doesn’t actually exist. The main researcher in Seaspiracy went to various government officials as well as environmental protection organizations and asked them for their definition of “sustainable fishing” (which they were unable to provide). According to the documentary, the best thing you can do to save the oceans is stop eating what’s in it. There’s no such thing as “sustainable fishing” because the lack of regulations and enforcement make it so it cannot exist.  

This documentary was really eye-opening as it also touched upon the issue of forced labor and the inaccuracy of what we’ve been told we need to do to save the environment. For example, plastic straws only make up 0.03 percent of plastic in the ocean, while fishing gear makes up for over 46 percent for plastic in trash island.

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