What Netflix’s Seaspiracy gets wrong about fishing, according to a marine biologist
A marine biologist says the "main problem" with Seaspiracy is the indication that not eating fish will fix the problems caused by industrial fishing.
The new Netflix documentary film Seaspiracy has sparked a conversation about the damage and negative effects that industrial fisheries has on our oceans and marine life.
Since first airing on 24 March, the film has been hugely popular and now features on Netflix’s Top 10 watch lists in several countries across the globe.
After watching the documentary, however, an experienced marine biologist decided to try and set some things straight in an article for Vox.
In the Vox article, Marine Biologist Daniel Pauly wrote: "While much progress has been made, far too many people still have no idea of the problems facing the oceans."
Pauly said he initially welcomed the idea of the new show, which focused on "the threat of destructive fisheries".
However, he said that, "overall, Seaspiracy does more harm than good".
Pauly said that the documentary takes the serious problem of the devastating effect of industrial fisheries on sea life, before undermining it with a series of false claims.
The marine biologist said that, most significantly, Seaspiracy "twists the narrative about ocean destruction to support the idea that we — the Netflix subscribers of the world — can save ocean biodiversity by turning vegan".
"In doing so," he continued, "Seaspiracy undermines its tremendous potential value: to persuade people to work together, and push for change in policy and rules that will rein in an industry which often breaks the law with impunity".
Pauly said that his "main problem" with the documentary is that "its makers want us to believe that not eating fish is the central way we should go about fixing the problems that industrial fishing creates for the oceans".
"To opt for vegetarianism and veganism is a very respectable position, and it may (have to) become a majority decision in the coming years, to limit the climate crisis as well."
"But right now", he added, "this is a position that only a small fraction of the population of wealthier countries will take".