Closing the net on industrial fishing

Thorpe, Tim
Date Written:  2021-04-01
Publisher:  The Ecologist
Year Published:  2021
Resource Type:  Website
Cx Number:  CX24729

A review of Seaspiracy; the film lifts the lid on the fishing industry, described as secretive and corrupt. Seaspiracy scrutinizes ocean conservation groups like Marine Stewardship Council and the Earth Island Institute are complicit in the fishing industry, and educates viewers on the complex relationships found in ocean food chains.



Like Cowspiracy before it, Seaspiracy takes the form of an exposé, shining a light on industry practices that will shock and disgust audiences, and displaying alarming statistics which paint a picture of ocean ecosystems on the brink of collapse.

We’re told that sharks are killed at a rate of over 11,000 per hour across the world, mostly as by-catch from commercial fishing, with some shark species populations declining by more than 90 percent in just the last few decades. Six out of seven species of sea turtle are either threatened or endangered, and seabirds have declined by around 70 percent due to competition with the fishing industry for their natural source of food.

Much of the information in the film will be known to environmentalists. Previous campaigns have highlighted the horrors of the shark finning industry and of ‘ghost gear’ – fishing nets and equipment that continues to wreak havoc for years after being discarded. Documentaries like The Cove have also covered parts of this story before.

But this information will be new to many viewers, and the framing of the film – lifting the lid to expose a secretive and corrupt industry – acts as an effective hook which compels viewers to watch on and discover more.

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