Got Any Sustainability? Go Fish.

by FIONA MACK '22

Seaspiracy is Netflix’s new documentary addressing hard-hitting topics such as the dark truth of the fishing industry, ocean life decimation, and other heartbreaking matters. Premiering in March 2021, the documentary brought up controversy questioning the relevance of the topics discussed and caused some distress in organizations that the director, Ali Tabrizi, exposed.


Ali’s journey on filming this documentary stemmed from his love of the oceans and marine life. Once he learned about the extremely harmful amounts of pollution and other sources harming the sea, he knew he had to address the issue. Ali attempts to expose the fishing industry in Asia travelling to Thailand to reveal the truth of harmful practices such as fishing pollution and deliberately hunting dolphins.


Not only does the director expose the fishing industry, he also addresses the charitable organizations that seem to be supported by money helping the industry. Many of these organizations neglect to include vital information about truly helping our world's aquatic life, such as advising people to eat sustainable fish rather than completely eliminating seafood.


The documentary criticizes the damage that the fishing industry makes on ocean life and climate change. One little-known fact is that plastic straws only occupy 0.03% of plastic entering the ocean while 70% of plastic comes from fishing gear. So while metal straws may be helping a few sea turtles, the bigger issue lies in the hands of the fishing industry. On Seaspiracy’s official website, it addresses the 3 main focuses on how to save the oceans:

  1. Shift to a plant based diet

  2. Enforce no-catch marine reserves

  3. End fishing subsidies

Not only does Seaspiracy expose many harmful practices and shielded information, it also causes us to look inward and reflect on our impact on the environment. Clearly, corruption is found not only in oceanic industries, but in almost all food industries around the world. This corruption raises a question: how much do we really know about what we eat? Throughout the documentary, the sustainable fish sticker labeling many cans of tuna and such throughout grocery stores is revealed to be a false guarantee of sustainability. So if labels on seafood cannot be trusted, what else are we eating that may not be shielding the truth?


Interested in learning more? Seaspiracy is available on Netflix along with other impactful documentaries such as Cowspiracy and Brave Blue World. You can also find more facts about the fishing industry and ocean life on Seaspiracy’s website found at seaspiracy.org.