The commercial fishing industry is wreaking havoc on planet Earth — but a lot of people have no idea. So, the upcoming original Netflix documentary Seaspiracy aims to bring that cold hard truth to a wide audience, with compelling storytelling and by uncovering some of the fishing industry's deepest secrets.
A.U.M. Films and Media and Kip Andersen, the production company and documentarian behind 2014’s Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and 2017’s What the Health, are also responsible for producing Seaspiracy. According to Seaspiracy’s Instagram, Seaspiracy is actually a followup to Cowspiracy.
Cowspiracy gave viewers a look into the environmental impact of animal agriculture, and primarily focused on the impact of farming land animals — but it also touched on the fishing industry. So, Seaspiracy will expand on how commercial fishing is damaging the oceans, contributing to climate change, hurting workers, and more.
Though Andersen has returned to produce Seaspiracy, the film has a new pair of directors: director Ali Tabrizi and assistant director Lucy Tabrizi, who will both appear in the film, showcasing their journey to “uncover the important missing piece of our planet's environmental puzzle.”
“When we embarked on the journey to expose the leading threat to our seas, we had no idea of the sheer scale of what we were about to uncover,” Ali Tabrizi said in a statement. “What made things even more shocking though, was the fact governments and environmental groups are complicit and profiting off its demise.”
“The rate of destruction in our oceans is outpacing our knowledge of its wonders,” added Lucy Tabrizi. “It’s crucial that we engage in this urgent conversation to protect the most incredible habitat on Earth before it’s too late… and this film will spark that.”
The commercial fishing industry has so many problems.
There are so many issues in the commercial fishing industry that viewers can expect Seaspiracy to explore.
For instance, in 2018, about 179 million metric tons of fish were caught from the world’s oceans. Humans are massively overfishing, which is causing the world’s oceans to overheat — and both of those things are hurting fish populations. According to a 2019 study, the world’s world's fish population has depleted by 4.1 percent since 1930.
Overfishing is also hurting coral reefs, which are marine ecosystems that aquatic animals rely on. According to the Coral Reef Alliance, overfishing affects more than 55 percent of coral reefs around the world. To learn more about dying coral reefs, you can check out the documentary Chasing Coral on Netflix.
There’s also the issue of bycatch, or non-target marine species who caught and thrown back into the ocean, either dead or on the brink of dying. This typically includes sea turtles, sea birds, dolphins, sharks, and unwanted fish. Globally, an estimated 63 billion pounds of bycatch is caught annually, representing about 40 percent of the world’s yearly marine catch, as per Oceana.
Not to mention, discarded fishing gear from the fishing industry is the leading cause of ocean plastic pollution — a study found that a whopping 86 percent of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was made up of fishing nets, according to The Guardian.