Controversial Netflix fishing industry documentary Seaspiracy leaves viewers in tears with scenes of sea turtles trapped in nets and whales being slaughtered in the Faroe Islands
- Controversial new Netflix documentary Seaspiracy is leaving viewers in tears
- British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi investigated the fishing industry and sustainability
- Many of those watching were shocked by footage of animals being slaughtered
- Activists in the film claim there is no such thing as sustainable fishing
A controversial new Netflix documentary about mass fishing which shows dolphins being slaughtered and salmon infested with chlamydia is leaving viewers in tears.
Seaspiracy, which was directed by British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi and released last week, documents the issues with the multibillion-dollar seafood industry, including highlighting the links between the industry and ecological catastrophe.
Ali initially said he wanted to expose the damage of plastic in the ocean, but went on to explore the human impact of mass fishing, from the 50 million sharks who die each year after being caught in a net to lice-infested farmed salmon.
One shocking scene in the film documents a whales cull in the Faro islands which sees locals slaughtering dozens of animals for their meat and blubber.
Heartbroken viewers were horrified by the film, with many saying they would never eat seafood again.
Seaspiracy, a controversial new Netflix documentary about mass fishing which shows dolphins being slaughtered and salmon infested with chlamydia, is leaving viewers in tears
Ali began his investigation in Japan to witness a dolphin cull in Taiji, where the animals are driven into a small bay before being captured to be used in entertainment industries,.
The filmmaker found himself hounded by police and was left feeling as though they didn’t record the activities of the fishermen.
He found that for every dolphin being caught, 12 more were killed – even though there’s no market for dolphin meat.
Tamara Arenovich of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society argued: ‘The answer to that question is pest control.
Viewers were left ‘tearing up’ but the gut-wrenching documentary which documents the issues with the multibillion-dollar seafood industry, including highlighting the links between the industry and ecological catastrophe.
‘The fishermen view the dolphins as competition – they feel that they eat too many fish, and if they get rid of the dolphins there will be more fish available to catch.
‘Essentially the slaughter of these dolphins is a reaction to the overfishing that’s happening here in Taiji.’
The filmmaker documented a similar practice in the Faroe Islands, after witnessing the ‘Grindadráp’, where hundreds of whales and dolphins are driven on to beaches and hacked to death as part on ancient hunt.
What is bycatch?
Bycatch is defined as when a species unintentionally caught by fishing vessels that are actually trying to fish something else.
50million sharks a year die after being caught in trawler nets, while 40 per cent of all marine life caught by the fishing industry is tossed back as lifeless bycatch.
In 2015, a terrifying new report has found that 98 per cent of canned fish sold by Britain’s best-known purveyors, John West, are caught by methods which indiscriminately kill other marine life — including dolphins.
Some supermarkets try to ensure that their own-brand tuna is caught using the dolphin-friendly, traditional pole-and-line method where fishermen catch tuna one by one with a pole, line and hook, ensuring that no other marine life is harmed — known as bycatch in the industry — in the process.
After seeing the devastating impact that overfishing could have on local marine life, Ali set out to learn more about ‘sustainable fishing.’
However he was shocked when several experts argued there was no such thing as ‘sustainable fisheries.’
One activist who worked with the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society, a non-profit marine protection organisation revealed the extraordinary amount of animals killed in the fishing industry each year.
Dolphins feed on the same prey as tuna, and commonly swim alongside them. In some cases, fishermen even follow them to find the fish. The result is that, when nets are used, dolphins are often swept up as well.
Helicopters and speedboats are used to spot shoals of tuna, and huge nets are suspended in the sea like a wall to catch them — along with everything else. Another gruesome method is the use of so-called Fish Aggravating Devices — tethered buoys or large, raft-like objects in the sea, which attract small fish to the area.
Vast nets the size of football pitches are placed below these devices, and are drawn up when the fish have congregated.
Lamya Essemlali said: ‘On the Atlantic French coast, up to 10,000 dolphins are being killed every year by by-catch.
‘This is ten times more than dolphins being killed than in Taiji and no one knew about it,’ she added.
She claimed: ‘This has been going on for at least 30 years because the French government has been very effective in hiding the problem.’
Meanwhile Sea Shepherd captain Peter Hammaerstedt explained: ‘One of the most shocking things people don’t realise is that the greatest threat to whales and dolphins is commercial fishing.
‘Over 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed every single year as by-catch of industrial fishing,’ he added.
Even those fisheries labelled sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or ‘Dolphin-Safe’ have been found to massacre huge numbers of porpoises, seabirds and other animals as bycatch.
The British filmmaker travelled to the Faroe Islands where he witnessed a ‘sustainable’ whale cull, called a grind
Peter said: ‘For those of us who spend as much time as sea as I do, we realised that labels often obscure what’s really happening at sea,’Peter said.
Ali investigated the Sea Shepherd claims and went to interview Mark J. Palmer, the founder of Dolphin Safe Tuna and the Earth Island Institution, who admitted there was no way of guaranteeing that no dolphins had been killed while fishing for the tuna in the can.
He explained that ‘nobody’ could guarantee dolphins would not be harmed in the fishing for Tuna, saying: Once you’re out there in the ocean, how do you know what they’re doing?’
Meanwhile Rick O’ Barry, founder of Dolphin Project said: ‘There’s nobody out there witnessing whether they kill dolphins or not…What they do, is they take the captain’s word for it.’
Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said there was ‘no such thing’ as sustainable fishing and called it ‘a marketing phase’, explaining: ‘It’s impossible…there’s simply not enough fish to justify that.’
In another shocking scene, a whistle-blower told Ali he filmed salmon being eaten alive by sea lice in a Scottish fish farm (pictured)
Professor Callum Roberts, a marine scientist, oceanographer and author, also claimed that non-profits such as the MSC couldn’t prove the fish were being sustainably produced.
He claimed: ‘They have certified fisheries who produce astonishing levels of by-catch. And those are ignored because the level of kill is considered to be sustainable in itself.
‘The label on the tin isn’t worth a damn in some cases,’ he added.
Meanwhile he also travelled to Thailand to speak with people forced into slavery on fishing vessels.
There are often 51,000 boats competing for dwindling fish stocks along the coasts.
Steve Trent of the Environmental Justice Foundation said: ‘They had to find a way of fishing evermore cheaply to catch fewer fish.
After witnessing animals being slaughted aboard a ship in Liberia, the filmmaker dubbed fisheries ‘floating slaughterhouses’
‘That’s where the inherent vulnerability begins. Most of those boats would not be economic without this free, cheap labour.’
One former enslaved fisherman claimed he was enslaved to work for years on the boats, explaining: ‘I was so depressed I tried to take my own life three time. On the ship I was on, sometimes they kept dead human bodies in the freezers after killing them.’
Later, Ali travelled to the Liberian coast where he saw the military attempting to protect sea wildlife against pirate fishermen.
There, he was given access to a fishing boat and inspected their stock, where viewers could see sharks, sea turtles and dolphins being caught in the net among more commercial fish species.
Calling the ships ‘floating slaughterhouses’, he continued: ‘I just don’t see how you could possibly enforce sustainable fishing laws with all these boats this far out at sea.’
And it wasn’t just in Africa that Ali found a problem with the fishing industry – he also travelled to Scotland to investigate fish farming, which is often viewed as a more sustainable alternative.
Ali met with whistle-blower Corin Smith, who founded Inside Scottish Salmon feedlots, and claimed he was able to film salmon being eaten alive by sea lice in one of the fish farms.
An activist for Sea Shepherd claimed that fisheries were killed 10,000 dolphins off the French coast each year as by-catch: fish that accidentally got caught in their nets
The gut-wrenching documentary left many viewers ‘in tears,’ and devastated by the impact of fishing on wildlife.
‘Seaspiracy is making me tear up man. Why the f*** do people do this?’, one asked.
‘Watching #Seaspiracy break my heart. Sustainability is the new low-fat. It’s all complete marketing propaganda,’ one said.
Another wrote: ‘Seaspiracy is so hard to watch and will make you think of your life choices.’
‘3 minutes into #Seaspiracy and I’m crying,’ another said.
‘Just got through #Seaspiracy. Those scenes from Faroe Islands really hit hard. That’s fish (of any form) off the menu for me for the rest of my days,’ one commented.
Another wrote: ‘Getting goosebumps while watching #Seaspiracy very heartbreaking and alarming.’
One shocked viewer wrote: ‘I’m glad I went vegetarian 2 years ago and can watch #Seaspiracy almost guilt free but it still made me feel sick in my stomach and brought tears to my eyes.
‘I don’t know how anyone could watch it and continue eating sea food.’
Source: Read Full Article