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Have you watched “Seaspiracy?

7 April 21

From SWOX: Seaspiracy is a new documentary by director Ali Tabrizi streaming on Netflix. While the movie starts out as a dreamy ode to marine life, it turns into a dramatic documentary investigating the many ways humans harm marine species and the entire eco-system ocean quickly and elaborately. However, since it started airing a couple of weeks ago Seaspiracy is applauded and contentious at the same time. We have devoted ourselves to educating the SWOX community about a sustainable lifestyle in order to protect our favorite playground the ocean, so this documentary has hit close to heart.

Keep reading for our takeaways and what you can do starting today to save the ocean.

In the past week Seaspiracy has been praised and controversially discussed by the media, scientists and on social media. The documentary is made by the team behind the 2014 Netflix documentary Cowspiracy and follows a similar storyline. Just like Cowspiracy, Seaspiracy uses techniques of storytelling we know from thriller movies to transport its message. However knowing that it’s not just a Hollywood movie makes it in parts very uncomfortable to watch – yet, that is exactly why it has the power to make an impact.

“It’s hard to stomach… But if there’s one thing Seaspiracy doesn’t want it’s for us to switch off and give up. There is hope.” - Charlotte Cripps, The Independent

In interviews and on Twitter, reputable scientists have rightly criticized the accuracy of some of the facts the movie narrative is built on. In addition NGOs who are interviewed in the movie claim their statements have been quoted out of context and thus have accused the filmmakers of making misleading claims. Some media outlets have gone so far to state that the very important message of Seaspiracy gets “lost in a sea of murky conspiratorial thinking” (New York Times).

“Seaspiracy" does present some pieces of reporting — including an inquiry into dolphin-safe tuna can labels — that are surprising and memorable. But even the film’s notable points seem to emerge only briefly before sinking beneath the surface, lost in a sea of murky conspiratorial thinking. - Natalia Winkelman, The New York Times

While we are far from being experts in the field of marine biology, oceanography or the fishing industry as a whole, and can’t comprehensively fact-check all claims the movie makes, we certainly can share the thoughts that crossed our minds after streaming Seaspiracy.

Should you watch Seaspiracy? We think it’s a MUST watch! Sometimes we need to see the direct consequences of our behavior in order to really change our minds and habits.


#1 Positivity wins.

For decades two of the organizations criticized in the movie, Oceana and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), have been doing groundbreaking work to tackle problems like bycatch, overfishing as well the pollution and destruction of the marine ecosystem. Seaspiracy triggered a verbal fight between camp “fight plastic pollution” and camp “fight the fishing industry” – we’ve read comments online that really made our hearts sink. Ultimately all NGOs are fighting for the same goal. So instead, let’s stand shoulder to shoulder and save our breaths to save our planet.

#2 Fighting (single use) plastics is still important.

Depending on which garbage patch we are talking about (wow!), fishing gear makes up for about roughly 10 to 50 percent of the plastic that is floating there. That’s an alarmingly high number and suggests that improving or reducing the impact of one industry would cut the problem of plastic pollution in the ocean almost in half. However let’s not forget the other 50 to 90 percent of plastic that we cause by how we consume and recycle. Stop using plastics wherever you can. Now.

#3 Avoid eating seafood.

All questionable facts and dramatic spy cam filming aside, the message Seaspiracy is sending is clear and correct: Don’t eat seafood. Here’s are two “buts”: Firstly, seafood is an important source of nutrition in many parts of the world, however if you are reading this article chances are, you will be able to find plant based alternatives you can afford on a daily basis.

Secondly, we slightly disagree with the filmmakers on the non-existence of sustainable fishing. Make eating seafood an infrequent treat and experience what fishing really means. Being part of the process of catching, killing and processing fish at least once in your life, helps you value your next seafood meal. Visit a local fisherman or women, support them, bring the family! You don’t live close to the ocean? Well, it’s time to switch your diet to a rare treat of freshwater fish until your next vacation.

#4 Be an active part of the solution.

You’ve watched the movie, now what? Discuss it with your friends and family. Share this article or a link to watch the movie. It’s a great idea to support organizations that fight the destruction of marine ecosystems today. Additionally do your own research on the NGOs featured in Seaspiracy.

Local action is best. Even if you don’t live close to the ocean, you can get involved with local groups that help protect ecosystems in rivers and lakes. Also featured in the movie is Sea Shepherd. It’s Sea Shepherd’s mission is to enforce and develop protective laws for marine wildlife for over 40 years. Get involved!

To sum it upSeaspiracy is a success story, because it has started a debate. Eat up that “dolphin safe” tuna can in your cabinet before it goes bad and don’t buy another one any time soon. 

Or to say it with the words of Sylvia Earle: “We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.”

On another note, April is Earth Month and April 22nd is Earth Day! We encourage you to help the world reach “drawdown” by taking action on the 80 most substantive solutions to climate change.




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