What Lies Beneath Seaspiracy? 4
In previous posts, we have addressed and face the problems presented by Seaspiracy in their 90-minutes-film. I have already talked about the reality of those problematics. That is why today I present you with actual solutions to the actual problems. Seaspiracy ‘s only proposes one solution “Stop eating seafood” something that is not actually viable, So what are tangible solutions?
What Can We Do? What Is Being Done?
Seaspiracy is full of inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Shows only the side of the story that fit the narrative they want and is not launched for educational purposes. However, again, we agree on the fact that illegal fisheries and unsustainable practices are a threat to our existence.
I believe you must always propose solutions whenever you bring a problem to the surface. So, what is being done regarding some of the actual problematics “exposed” by Seaspiracy? A big part of the change we want to see in the world, though it comes from the hand of corporations, is in our hands to enforce it. Once we change our practices, we are indirectly forcing corporations and big companies to change theirs in order to keep profiting from our consumption.
Seaspiracy says that we are not doing anything by cleaning our beaches, but what do they propose on their end? What can we do about plastic pollution as a whole and ghost gear pollution specifically? What is the best way to tackle a problem? Not having it in the first place, so, prevention is key.
Avoid and stay away from single-use plastics is a big step to make, though it may take time to have everyone used to it. Cleanup is a harder thing to do, but we must keep our beaches and shores clear of trash to start that prevention. Most of the debris does not end up buoyant. A big part of plastic pollution is at the bottom of our oceans, but if we take care of buoyant pollution, that is a big part of the change we want to see. We must reduce our waste production. And being honest, Ghost Gear is so big that it would be the easiest plastic to get rid of.
Most of our marine pollution comes from badly managed landfills. In 2009 Norway ordered a ban on landfills and has ever since, invested in waste-to-energy incineration plants. Creating heat energy for houses and businesses from burning waste. Companies like Five12Apparel, Batoko, Patagonia, and many others are making clothing and other products from recycled nylons, nets, and/or plastics that would otherwise end up polluting our waterways. The Global Ghost Gear Initiative is a coalition organization of industry’s corporates and NGOs, and Governments that focuses on recovering ghost gear and encouraging the whole fishing industry to minimize the global abandonment of fishing gear.
Marine Entertainment Industry
Costa Rica, Croatia, and Chile have banned the captivity of cetaceans. Norway, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, and Brazil have strict standards that make it really hard to keep cetaceans in captivity. What we can do is not visit aquariums, zoos, and marine parks. Not purchase fishes from pet shops. As well as promote and welcome the existence of Marine Life Rescue sites. I really can not stress enough that the solution to this problem is to stop supporting these practices and push our governments and legislators to make these practices illegal.
Do not support terroristic aggressive organizations such as Sea Shepherd. There are a plethora of organizations that are fighting for a better planet in different aspects of earth conservation. Find your passion, find the one organization you feel actually fights for what you believe in. We are the change we want to see in the world, and that quote from Sylvia Earle will always resonate with me “no one can do everything. But everyone can do something”.
IUU Fishing and No-Take Zones
IUU Fishing needs to end, and I cannot stress it enough. Humans’ rights and specifically women’s rights across the seafood value chain require more attention and focus. There is room for improvement in policies and legislation that will ensure rights in the industry are being fulfilled. There is room for improvement in the enforcement of the policies and legislations that are currently in place. Improvement in the development and enforcement to stop forced labor, human trafficking, and slavery at sea. It is our duty and obligation to push for legislative changes and the enforcement of existing laws.
We should and must push for more no-take zones. The film was right on that, though their data was outdated. Our oceans and marine ecosystems have an amazing ability and speed to recover. If we push for this increase, in less than ten years we can recover big part of the damage that has been done for over 5 decades.
As concerned citizens of the world, we need to direct our actions towards our governments. We are now aware of the problem and now we cannot be indifferent, however, we will not solve it by not eating seafood.
The film was shocking, especially since they decided to portray information that was outdated and already rebutted. Nevertheless, we believe the solution of “not eating seafood” they offer will not be enough. And is not possible. The truth is people -mostly- have the right to choose what they eat. And if your personal choices are some that improve the health and welfare of our planet, we applaud them. Some people do not have the actual choice on what to eat. And this is a reality for hundreds of millions of people that rely on seafood as their only source of food supply and job. Also having in mind some eastern cultures have deeply rooted seafood-based diets. Many of the people that rely on seafood are poverty-stricken and facing hunger and malnutrition.
Also, by cutting seafood from all food production, they are assuming no harm will be ever done to the environment. Okay, we said it earlier, almost half the world population is tied to the industry. What are they going to live off? Let us say they will all switch to a vegan diet. Agriculture needs places to grow. And a lot of deforestation would need to be done to ensure the food for almost 4 billion people. That means a lot of ecosystems will need to cease existing. A lot of animals are going to lose their homes and die. A vegan diet causes more harm in the environment compared to an omnivorous and even pescatarian diet.
Consume Sustainable + Local + Traceable.
The film says that nothing will happen to us if we stop consuming seafood. However, there would be more deforestation, more hunger, and more poverty. The film makes us -yes, including me- feel terrible about our own fish consumption. SeaFish released an article on 10 reasons you should “feel good about eating Seafood”. It is in our hands to make sure we are consuming Sustainable Certified products and ensure we are eating food that complies with legislation, standards, and our own ethical concepts.
Learning and understanding where our food is actually coming from is a big step to consciously make changes in our world. Educating ourselves and also not judging people that cannot make these changes in their diets. We cannot shame people over things they cannot change like their culture and financial situations. We cannot shame a whole industry just because we are consuming a vegan diet or for the actions, a few in the industry decide to illegally take.
Seaspiracy promotes a plant-based seafood alternative company called “New Wave Foods” as a solution to seafood consumption. However, those products are not even available and are barely affordable. This is definitely a solution but is not at our reach at the moment.
We should definitely be more engaged in our own food consumption. Learn and understand where our food is coming from. Purchase locally and responsibly sourced products. When we cannot purchase locally, make sure our food is sustainable and 100% traceable.
Seaspiracy is A Problem
Seaspiracy certainly gives us an insight into an important problem in our world, misinformation. And with misinformation, there is the need for critical thinking. We must always doubt whichever information we are being faced with, regardless of the source. And that is something I will always appreciate about science, everything can and must be ascertainable and rebutted. If something confronts us with our beliefs, culture, and value, we must always gather information from different sources to make the decision of keeping those or changing them.
Seaspiracy is a problem in itself, and I have said it, the production had no educational purposes. The film’s only intention was to shock the viewer and drive them on a guilt trip over their nutritional and cultural practices. And as a social scientist, as a social psychologist, I can assure you there are more effective and less shocking ways of persuasion. However, I do not have Hollywood’s influence to have you all believe my words, I, instead, invite you to go on Scholar Google and do the research yourself, then, and only then, make your decision. Backing out or backing up this industry is completely up to you, just make an informed decision.
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