Seaspiracy, Netflix’s new documentary, shocked viewers with its condemnation of commercial fishing. The same team behind 2014’s Cowspiracy displays the horrific damage of the aquaculture industry on the environment. However, the documentary also stirred up a boatload of controversy as conservation experts accuse the film of inaccuracies. Even some of the experts quoted in Seaspiracy state that the filmmakers used interviews out of context.
The Shocking Reports in Seaspiracy
For those who haven’t seen the documentary, this is its official synopsis. “Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species — and uncovers alarming global corruption.”
The director, Ali Tabrizi, wanted to investigate the impact of single-use plastics on the oceans. On this journey, he made some shocking discoveries. For instance, he alleged that Japanese fishers hunt dolphins because they both compete for the population of bluefin tuna. The film also claims that most of the plastic waste in the oceans is from fishing nets. Additionally, over 300,000 dolphins and whales die from bycatch. Most startling, Seaspiracy said that if the fishing industry continues, there will be no fish in the oceans by 2048.
Perhaps the most intense message of the film is that there is no such thing as sustainable fishing. Even “dolphin-safe” labels on fish cans may be misleading since anything could happen out on the ocean. It also claims that farmed fisheries may not be as eco-friendly as they seem since some farmed fish is actually fed wild-caught fish; one expert called it “wild fishing in disguise.”
Then came the topic of “blood shrimp,” as environmental journal George Monbiot called it. This term refers to the reports of slave labor in Thailand used to catch prawns and shrimp. One fisherman said he was abused and threatened with guns; additionally, the corpses of other fishermen were kept in freezers on the ship. 
Can Seaspiracy Convince People to Go Vegan?
It’s a shocking, often uncomfortable, viewing experience, to the extent that some viewers felt compelled to stop eating seafood. Some have chosen to go entirely vegan. It remains to be seen if the documentary’s shock value is enough to convince people to stop eating seafood, especially since the film doesn’t provide any advice on how to act on it. This can alienate people in areas where fish is a dietary staple or where there are few alternatives available. Therefore, it’s more likely that the film convinced people who are already considering changing their eating habits.