Should we stop eating fish? A Netflix documentary advises to abandon this eating habit to save marine fauna and flora, but it is not without controversy.
Netflix has released a documentary focused on denouncing the impact of commercial fishing on the environment. Celebrities and large numbers of viewers have raised their voices against this practice stating that they will no longer eat fish to eradicate this practice. However, the documentary has been accused of misrepresenting the information.
Seaspiracy assures, among other things, that most of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from fishing nets, that more than 300,000 whales and dolphins die each year as a result of accidental capture or that this business will be able to empty the oceans by 2048. After raising this dramatic future, the recommendation to avoid it is clear: the best thing you can do as an individual is to stop eating fish.
The impact of documentaries like this on people’s long-term habits is unclear, but there is a clear influence on the decisions of many of its viewers after viewing the documentary. With “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” in 2014, many made the decision to adopt a vegan diet. This was also recorded by Ashley Bieniek-Tobasco, a researcher at the University of Illinois, in a survey on the documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, focused on climate change in the United States, viewers who felt angry or shocked were more likely to take action against climate change, unlike people who experienced helplessness and sadness.
Pollution in the sea is not a new topic. But now it has been confirmed with scientific evidence that it is also causing diseases in plants, these colonial animals that inhabit the seabed.
Regardless of whether this documentary or others can motivate a long-term change in people, the question arises as to whether the message is true or tends to be exaggerated. The NGOs and experts featured in the documentary accuse the filmmakers of make “misleading claims“and use the interviews out of context to back up erroneous statistics.
An executive of the international organization responsible for the Dolphin Safe tuna label, Mark Palmer, assures that his comments were taken out of context. During the interview he was asked if his team (International Marine Mammal Project) could guarantee that dolphins were not killed during tuna fishing anywhere in the world, to which he assures that he explained: “I answered that there are no guarantees but that it drastically reduces the number of vessels that intentionally chase and fish for dolphins with nets, as well as other regulations in force, that the number of dolphins that are killed is very low. ” However, “the tape took my statement out of context to suggest that there is no supervision and we don’t know if dolphins are being killed. That’s not true.”
Palmer claims that Seaspiracy is lying by suggesting that the Dolphin Safe label it is a conspiracy to benefit the world’s fishing industries. The directors of this project assure that their work has achieved that “the levels of dolphin deaths are reduced by more than 95%, avoiding the indiscriminate killing of more than 100,000 dolphins each year.”
Unnerving to discover your cameo in a film slamming an industry you love & have committed your career to. I’ve alot to say about # seaspiracy- but won’t. Yes there are issues but also progress & fish remain critical to food & nutrition security in many vulnerable geographies. pic.twitter.com/gKlopL64Gt
– Christina Hicks (@ChristinacHicks) March 26, 2021
Other voices like Christina hicks, an environmental social scientist from Lancaster University, have expressed their rejection of the documentary in which he appears “It is disconcerting to discover his cameo in a film that criticizes an industry that he loves and with which he has committed his career.” Most experts say that the documentary reflects some of the problems that exist and must be solved, but they are interspersed with false claims such as the idea that the oceans will be empty in 2048.
In addition, organizations such as Marine Stewardship Council For which these experts work, they fight to correct these problems without giving up an environmentally friendly fishing activity. Celebrities such as Bryan Adams, a singer who advocates a vegan diet for everyone, has publicly praised this documentary and encouraged his followers to stop consuming fish.