Why You Shouldn’t Wait Any Longer to Watch Seaspiracy

seaspiracy on netflix

Seaspiracy was released only 10 days ago at the time of writing and it’s currently the number 1 film on Netflix in the UK. Have you watched it yet? This new documentary has been produced by the same team behind Cowspiracy (2014), which was about the journey of an environmentalist investigating the destructive meat industry. This time, Seaspiracy looks at the environmental impact of fishing.

So far, I thought eating fish was more “acceptable” than meat and less harmful to the planet. But after watching this documentary, I now think it’s actually way worse. Our oceans are in danger, it’s too easy to close our eyes and ignore what’s happening under water because it’s less visible. If you’re scared to get shocking images stuck in your head forever (some are hard to stomach), then at least be aware of what’s happening in the world before fish end up on your plate.

Key facts from the documentary

Taken from the film itself, below are 8 shocking facts about our ocean:

  • 90% of the world’s large fish have been wiped out by fishing
  • Slavery in the seafood industry is reported in 47 countries (abuse and murder are common practise on these fishing vessels, it’s easy to make a body disappear in the ocean)
  • Governments give $35 billion to the fishing industry every year to keep plundering our seas (when only $30 billion is needed to solve world hunger)
  • 250,000 sea turtles are captured, injured or killed by the fishing industry every year in the United States (1,000 turtles die in plastic per year worldwide in comparison)
  • 46% of the Great Pacific garbage patch is comprised of fishing nets (which are far more dangerous for marine life than plastic straws because they’re designed to kill)
  • 300,000 dolphins, whales and porpoises are killed in fishing nets every year, along with 30,000 sharks per hour
  • Enough fishing line is set every day to wrap around the Earth 500 times
  • 3.9 billion acres of seafloor is deforested every year by trawling (in comparison, 25 million acres of forest is deforested every year on land)

I think one of the things that shocked me the most was the fact that there is so much focus on the negative impact of plastic straws, when it only represents 0.03% of plastic entering the ocean. It’s nothing compared to how the fishing industry harms sea life – and therefore our planet. 70% of macro plastic at sea comes from fishing gear.

How can we save the ocean?

On their website, they indicate 3 things we should do to help save the ocean:

  1. Shift to a plant-based diet
  2. Enforce no-catch marine reserves protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030
  3. End fishing subsidies (currently $35 billion per year)

Now I know for a fact it’s not easy to shift to a plant-based diet. But it’s not as difficult as it may seem either. It has to be a decision you feel comfortable with, but when you’re ready you’ll have plenty of resources available online. Seaspiracy created a plant-based meal planner to help you with the transition if you want to join the movement. You can set up your personalised journey there and also have access to many awesome fishless recipes!

Why cutting out seafood is best

Food labels don’t guarantee anything

Another shocking fact is that we simply cannot trust labels or certifications on food packaging. There is no way anyone can 100% guarantee they’re compliant. So when you see “certified sustainable seafood”, “responsibly farmed” or even “dolphin safe” for example, it doesn’t mean it’s actually the case. Because the audit that aims to verify the compliance of the requirements normally takes place once a year, it’s virtually impossible to monitor what’s happening on vessels once at sea. There aren’t people there regularly observing and some are bribed to turn a blind eye. Bearing that in mind, stopping eating fish is basically the only way to make sure you’re not contributing to the damages caused by fishing.

There is no such thing as “sustainable fishing”

Can we really believe large-scale extraction of wildlife could ever be “sustainable”? Commercial fishing drives many other species towards extinction. It’s important to remember that when you eat fish, it’s not only that fish that dies… It’s also the huge numbers of bycatch (i.e other fish and marine animals unintentionally caught and killed in the process). Sea turtles are threatened and endangered because of fishing – not because of climate change, ocean pollution or plastic. The population of sharks, whales, dolphins, seabirds etc, also declines because of the loss of fish. If that trend continues, we will have empty oceans within the next few decades. And if the ocean dies, we die.

It’s not humane in the slightest

First of all, it’s wrong to say fish can’t feel pain. They feel pain in a similar way that humans do. Fish are sentient beings, have a nervous system, memory capabilities, they can experience fear and concern… They can even have social lives and team up with other species to find food. One of the scenes in the documentary forced me to take a break, I was crying too much and couldn’t cope with the images. It was about the way they hunted whales in the Faroe Islands, to me it was quite clear they were clever enough to understand what was going on (the whales, not the humans… unfortunately).

What are the fish alternatives?

You might think it’s impossible to replace fish in your meals but the variety of cruelty-free options we have access to nowadays is quite impressive! When I decided to go vegan, salmon was the only thing I missed… It used to be my favourite food. My Japanese roots undoubtedly influence my food habits and I’m so happy to have found a way to prepare makis without fish (see below). So far, I’ve tried 2 brands: VBites and Loma Linda and now I can say I won’t miss salmon anymore… I lost my appetite for it anyway.

There are so many fish alternatives out there, I’m yet to try many more! Below are a few useful links to get you started:

Hopefully we will see more and more fish alternatives in the coming months or so, everywhere in the world… What’s your favourite alternative so far? If you haven’t tried any yet, would you give it a go?

Big Girl x

David Attenborough’s Message: A life On Our Planet

A life on our planet

I’ve been waiting for this documentary to be released for a while… It finally got available on Netflix yesterday! As a nature lover, I couldn’t wait any longer to watch it. I’ll tell you why you should watch it too. David Attenborough‘s life is fascinating. He was born at the right moment to be able to travel the world like never before, see the world like never before, show images like never before… But he also witnessed how humans started to destroy the planet, leaving less and less space for wildlife to sustain.

A man’s lifetime

This documentary shows how the planet evolved during his lifetime, what it could become if we don’t act now, but also how we can make changes to save it. It’s a reality check, an eye-opener and it doesn’t sugar-coat anything. It brings tears on your face, shows images that are not for the faint-hearted so you won’t be able to ignore what’s happening anymore. Everyone needs to see this, changes won’t happen overnight but our future looks pretty grim if we don’t act.

“This film is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. The story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake, and how, if we act now, we can yet make it right.”

David Attenborough

It’s not a pretty picture

From the moment Attenborough was born until now, the population of our planet has almost quadrupled, while the space left to wildlife has been halved. “We’re replacing the wild with the tame.”, he says. The atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen considerably. The temperature on Earth has increased by 1 degree, which resulted in a loss of 40% of the sea ice we used to have in Antarctica. The evidence is in front of us.

“Our planet is headed for disaster. We need to learn how to live with nature, rather than against it.”

David Attenborough

Endangered species

If you don’t have Netflix, the documentary Extinction: The Facts is also available on BBC player and is quite similar in the way that it also explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all. We gathered the family (which includes me, my partner and our 2 cats) in front of our 65 inch TV to watch it together. Our oldest cat didn’t seem so bothered (as you would expect from a cat) but our 6 months old kitten was more than intrigued… Especially when they showed images of the poor koala trying to escape from the burning forest (see picture below). In this documentary, Attenborough suggests the global warming impact caused by humans makes us more prone to pandemics. We are disrupting our biodiversity.

luna in front of extinctions bbc documentary

It got personal

It’s particularly emotional for me as I was there when Australia had a “dark summer”. I’ve seen fires starting out of the blue just because of scorching temperatures, I’ve been to the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie and witnessed the damages on wildlife. I’ve also seen the grey sky lingering over Sydney and breathed what was probably not the best air I’ve ever breathed… It’s always a lot scarier when it’s in front of you because you can’t pretend the media exaggerates things. It is very real.

So… Have you watched it yet? Who else needs to watch it?

Big Girl x