Netflix’s latest documentary Seaspiracy has been accused of misrepresentation and making misleading claims by experts quoted in the film. This 90-minute documentary by filmmaker Ali Tabrizi starts with an investigation into the causes of whale strandings around the world.
However, as he further investigates this problem, he uncovers the corruption within the fishing industry and the damage fishing trawlers are inflicting on the environment.
The documentary encourages viewers to stop eating fish to reduce the horrific implications over-fishing has on the environment and this has led to it being criticised by viewers calling it vegan propaganda and misinformation.
The documentary looks into the idea of sustainable fishing and whether or not this is something that can be obtained.
The film has been accused of painting Asian people as the bad guys, black people as the victims and white people as do-gooders, as Seaspiracy shines the light on slave labour at sea.
Two men were interviewed describing their experiences being held captive upon fishing vessels in Thailand, being beaten for not working to the satisfaction of their captain and being threatened with guns.
The interviewees also recounted how other slave labourers were thrown overboard if they disobeyed the captain and how the captain kept frozen bodies in the freezers of the ships. These deaths were reported to the authorities as people falling overboard due to illness.
The documentary investigated labels such as Dolphin Safe and Marine Stewardship Council labels showing the lack of guarantee these organisations can give consumers about their products.
This was met with backlash from many marine officials and organisations saying that the documentary was propaganda against the fishing industry.
David Philips, the director of the INMP said in a statement, “The Dolphin Safe tuna programme is responsible for the largest decline in dolphin deaths by tuna fishing vessels in history. Dolphin-kill levels have been reduced by more than 95%, preventing the indiscriminate slaughter of more than 100,000 dolphins every year.”
Seaspiracy highlighted the corruption within organisations such as Dolphin Safe tuna labels as their representative Mark Palmer stated that it is impossible to guarantee no dolphins are caught as bycatch and that their officials can be bribed.
He has since said his comments were taken out of context.
This film shed light on a massive industry that is often forgotten about. It highlights the importance of marine life living in the oceans to sustain our life on land.
Overall, Seaspiracy showed that all life on earth is interconnected and essential to the survival of our planet.
Each minute in this documentary revealed a new and shocking revelation about the fishing industry and provokes the viewer to think about their own consumption habits.
Author: Michella Cullen