Everybody knows that single use plastics such as straws and bags are terrible for the environment, specifically the ocean. While that is true, there is a much bigger issue at the seas that has gone under all of our noses. Seaspiracy is a new documentary directed by Ali Tabrizi, and it illuminates the problems that are plaguing our waters. It starts off by looking at the whaling industry in Japan. After witnessing the atrocities committed by the whaling industry, Ali realizes that there is not much that he can do, so he moves on. He then goes on to commercial fishing industries. He discovers that fishing equipment such as nets, buoys, and fishing lines account for an alarming amount of trash in the Ocean.
He also shows the problem of bycatch. Whenever large commercial vessels go out on the water to fish, they are after one species. Anything else that ends up in their enormous nets is bycatch. This includes sea turtles, dolphins, whales, or anything else. Most of the time this bycatch dies, and then it gets dumped back into the sea.
The documentary also points out the problem of overfishing. Certain fish populations have drastically decreased due to high demand. The documentary highlights so many more problems with the fishing industry.
What stood out to me was how much all of this is going to affect humans. It’s all a chain reaction. If an apex predator is wiped out, such as a shark, nothing will be eating the next level of organisms. Those organisms will overpopulate and eat all of their food source until there’s none left. Then they die, and so on.
I also learned that the ocean absorbs an astronomical amount of carbondioxide. Due to huge nets scrubbing on the ocean floor, commercial fishing can decimate thousands of miles of ocean floor at a time, leaving nothing behind. Basically, it’s all a chain reaction, and if the ocean dies, we die.
This documentary shocked me so much. I had never heard of fishing being such a massive problem before, especially when it comes to trash pollution. The reason no one has talked about this issue is because of money. The companies are all interlocked and connected, and anti-plastic campaigns get paid by large fishing industries. Therefore, it wouldn’t be financially beneficial for them to talk about how big of a problem commercial fishing is. The film made it clear that the one way to prevent this was to stop eating fish. It also made it clear that there is really no certain way to know where all of your food is coming from. At the end of the day, what this did for me was made me think. It made me realize that I never question where my food comes from. I never even thought about how my actions now will affect what life is like for future generations. I will not only look at food differently, but I will also think about how everything I do could affect others.