Seaspiracy: a startling onslaught against the scandals of overfishing


Seaspiracy provides us with an interesting analogy. Think of Earth as a spaceship. It's travelling through the galaxy with 365 days per orbit. We have a perfectly self-sustainable life support system that provides us with oxygen, food, an ecosystem and a near endless supply of water. That life support is kept running by our crew. The crew is made up of tiny microorganisms all the way to immense whales that sustain our perfect ecosystem. But we're killing our crew. And there’s only so far we can go by killing the crew that keeps us and our spaceship going.

It's a refreshingly pragmatic and simplistic documentary created by 22 year old Ali Tabrizi and his sister that opens up an unfathomable cavern of corruption and injustice within the global fishing industries. He's young, ambitious and wants to find out more about an underwater world close to his heart and, once you get past his slightly unsophisticated narration and glaringly out of place animations, it's hard not to be on board with his journey.

Ali travels all over the world, often to places where filming could result in life changing consequences, and shows us the various ways that the fishing industry is point-blank lying to us.

He films dolphins being slaughtered in Taiji all in aid of halting competition. He visits the fisheries of various endangered shark and tuna species, all eaten as a sign of wealth and prosperity. He investigates why over 50 million sharks and 300,000 dolphins are killed every year as bycatch (stuff that's thrown back into the sea). He goes to Thailand to investigate the slave trade that still takes place via industrialised fishing. He speaks to the commissioner of fisheries and environment in Brussels only to find no definition for sustainable fishing. These issues are just the tip of the iceberg throughout Seaspiracy, and that's both a blessing and a curse.

It's an undeniably eye-opening account of vast numbers of conspiracies at play within overfishing and fish farming throughout the world. But getting through them all at a breakneck speed often stops you from feeling the true impact of what he's saying. You get caught up in one idea; it's all one big conspiracy and all we can do is stop eating fish.

The narrative that gets augmented along the way illustrates Ali's obvious bias that often seems to undermine the points he wants to make, but the deception unearthed through the overwhelming facts and figures speak for themselves. Even if the eventual solutions feel lacking, it's hard to argue with the fact that Seaspiracy will provide astounding evidence of a deeply controversial conversation.

He takes a truly global approach that ensures that its as accessible as possible. You think "well at least nothing bad goes on in my country" until he heads to Scotland and England to uncover the parasites that eat 50% of our salmon alive in fish farms and chemicals they're fed to help choose what colour they'll be in the packets. It's really powerful, but often just a little one-sided and extreme to totally get on board with.

Any Good? It's a solid stepping stone in conceptualising your own objective opinion. Just don't take it all at face value.

Seaspiracy is now available to stream on Netflix