picture: netflix / ali tabrizi
Do you like to eat fish? Then maybe you should check out this Netflix documentary
What was originally intended as a homage to the great blue seas has turned into a spectacular story of revelation: the filmmaker Ali Tabrizi traveled halfway around the world for his documentary “Seaspiracy”, spoke to those responsible and often put himself in danger in order to Uncover hidden truths about the destruction of the oceans. In «Seaspiracy» the fishing industry and its enormous impact on the oceans and the climate are examined.
If you read the title of the documentary published today on Netflix, you might notice a similarity to the title “Cowspiracy”, which was released in 2014 and caused a lot of excitement with its disclosure of industrial cattle breeding as one of the main causes of climate change. The similarity of the titles is no coincidence: Kip Andersen, one of the producers of “Cowspiracy”, also produced the new marine documentary.
Starting with the horror news of whales washed up on the beach with their bellies full of plastic, Tabrizi first deals with the garbage problem that the seas clearly have. He quickly realized, however, that the greatest danger to the whales is not ear swabs and straws, but gigantic fishing nets that make up up to 46 percent of the plastic in the world’s oceans.
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And although whaling has been officially banned for decades, animals are still hunted in many places – as well as dolphins. This has global effects: Tabrizi explains that whales keep the marine ecosystem in balance. They are also indispensable in the fight against the climate crisis, because they fertilize the ocean with phytoplankton, which, according to Tabrizi, absorbs four times as much carbon dioxide every year as the Amazon rainforest and generates up to 95 percent of our oxygen. The effect whales have on the climate was also recognized by the International Monetary Fund and recorded in a study in 2019. “When dolphins and whales die, the ocean dies. If the ocean dies, we die, ”says Tabrizi.
The reasons for this are difficult for the filmmaker to determine because he is constantly rejected during his research, interviews are refused and his mission is characterized as “too dangerous”.
bild: netflix / lucy tabrizi
Sustainable fishing? There is not any
Tabrizi nonetheless reveals what apparently not only organizations, but also governments want to hide. For example in Taiji, Japan. The tuna industry, which is worth billions of dollars, is booming there, and according to the filmmakers, dolphins should be regularly killed in order to preserve it. The Dolphin Project and Peta take action against the dolphin killings in Taiji. At the same time, sharks are being killed in Hong Kong for the shark fin soup, 50 million sharks are said to die each year from bycatch alone. Does industrial fishing really have to act like this? Is there no more sustainable way?
Tabrizi speaks to numerous experts and employees of Öko-Labels wie «Dolphin Safe»which is supposed to show, for example, that no dolphin had to die of bycatch to catch a fish. It turns out: this label is not a guarantee. Observers who are supposed to check compliance with the standards on the fishing ships are apparently bribed and the fishermen themselves lie because they earn more money with every label awarded. Also the The organization “MSC”, to label fish products from sustainable fisheries, has come under severe criticism and refuses to make a statement to the filmmaker.
Captain Paul Watson, founder of the marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd says: «There is no such thing as sustainable fishing. There isn’t enough fish for it. Today everything is ‘sustainable’. But it’s not sustainable. It’s a marketing ploy. “ It is becoming increasingly clear that too many people earn money from industrial, largely illegal, fishing and therefore cannot rely on labels that suggest sustainability.
“There is a simple solution: leave the ocean alone”
So what’s the alternative? Paul Watson says: “The ocean is our greatest carbon drain. To do something about climate change, we must first protect the ocean. There is a simple solution: leave him alone. “
If industrial fisheries proceed with the same brutality as before, the seas will be empty by 2048 – that is what «Seaspiracy» predicts. According to National Geographic, a 2006 study came to the same conclusion. The prospects are not good, neither for the climate, nor for the biodiversity of the seas, nor for us humans. The only way out that Tabrizi finds for himself: “The best thing I could really do every day to protect the ocean and the marine animals I loved was just not to eat them.”
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