I was almost too upset to write yesterday. I’d just watched the new Netflix documentary Seaspiracy, and I was horrified by the fact we are all being told to look the other way while the fishing industry plunders our seas with impunity. Mass fishing robs traditional fishermen of their livelihoods, creates more plastic pollution than any other single source (according to the documentary), and also profits from slavery. Our marine life is being killed off at an alarming rate (there’s even a suggestion that the sea could be dead by 2048 if we continue at the same rate.) If the sea is dead, then so are we: there are no two ways about it.
Thinking about only buying sustainable fish? Think again. Organisations like the MSC are being paid by the fishing industry to certify their products ‘sustainable’ when really there is no such thing. Same with ‘dolphin friendly.’ Dolphins and Whales are being killed in huge numbers by mass fishing, not to mention the shark fin industry. We are killing off all of the ocean’s big predators and this is trickling down the food chain. I see evidence of this every day in the large numbers of jellyfish washed up on the beach.
There are two bright spots on the horizon: 1) marine environments recover quickly if left alone. This means don’t contribute to the problem: unless you know the fisherman and where he got his fish from, don’t buy it. I’m not telling you what to do. This is simply the logical action to take if you care. 2) the documentary is very popular on Netflix, and is receiving a lot of attention on social media. The generation who will suffer most from the destruction of our oceans are rightly up in arms about this. Under increased scrutiny and social pressure, NGOs and Governments will have to take action.
We are sleepwalking
along plastic-strewn beaches
Sharing with Earthweal’s Open Link Weekend. Thank you to Brendan for hosting.