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Filmmakers Criticized – Netflix caused a sensation with its hunting documentary

“Stop eating fish!” Ask the makers of “Seaspiracy” – and set the action on. But critics accuse them of misrepresenting the facts.

Overfishing as the biggest threat to the seas: “Seaspiracy” takes a closer look at the harmful effects of fishing.

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell (Getty Images)

“Seaspiracy” is the name of the hit documentary on Netflix that is currently hitting the Internet. It is a manipulation of the words consisting of “sea” and “conspiracy” (conspiracy). The 90-minute movie “The Disclosure”, which sheds light on the harmful effects of commercial fishing, has landed in the list of the 10 most viewed movies on the streaming platform in no time. The documentary received much praise from prominent fans and supporters with the devastating conclusion that the fishing industry is the greatest threat to the oceans. Kourtney Kardashian was just one of many who swore on social media to stop eating fish from now on.

Behind the iconic movie is the same director behind award-winning Netflix documentaries “Cowspiracy” and “What the Health”: animal rights activist Cape Andersen. In his films, the film’s producer accused the meat and food industries of mafia-like intrigues and praised vegetarianism as the only solution to further protect the climate and the environment. In Ali Tabrizi’s latest work titled “Seaspiracy”, viewers are asked not to eat more fish and seafood. Because according to the documents, sustainable consumption simply does not exist.

But in addition to words of appreciation, the film also received a lot of criticism. NGOs, sustainability brands, and cited experts on “Seaspiracy” accuse the filmmakers of making “misleading claims” using out-of-context interviews and incorrect statistics.

Sustainability Labels Credibility

Such accusations were leveled, among others, by the professor of environmental sciences at Lancaster University, Christina Hicks, who was interviewed for the film. “It’s upsetting when you discover your short appearance in a movie that deeply despises an industry you love and have dedicated your career to,” Hicks wrote on Twitter. “ I have a lot to say about ‘the ease of hacking’ – but I won’t. ” Hicks shouldn’t know during the interview what exactly the movie is about.

Mark Palmer, deputy director of the US International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP), which is committed to protecting marine mammals, accuses the “Seaspiracy” team of taking its statements out of context. His organization is responsible, among other things, for the “Dolphin Safe” label: the certification indicates compliance with laws or guidelines to reduce dolphin deaths when fishing for tuna. However, in “Seaspiracy”, according to IMMP, the poster is portrayed as a conspiracy in favor of the global fishing industry.

Like Palmer All-in-One statement He writes, the filmmakers took his statements out of context to indicate that there is no effective oversight and that the organization does not know if dolphins are being killed. This is not true, Palmer wrote.

In fact, the “Dolphin Safe” program is responsible for the largest decrease in dolphin killing by tuna poachers in history. The number of dolphins killed was reduced by over 95 percent, preventing the indiscriminate slaughter of more than 100,000 dolphins annually. “Maritime piracy” harms organizations that “are doing important work to protect oceans and marine life”.

Private opinions are supported

This also agrees Spokesperson for the nonprofit Maritime Supervisory Council (MSC) at. The film draws attention to “known issues” in the fishing industry, but it also contains “misleading claims” such as that there is no such thing as sustainable fishing and that MSC certification is not reliable.

A mass of drift nets and ropes float in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

A mass of drift nets and ropes float in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Photo: Keystone

The documentary also means that the organization Plastic Pollution AllianceWho defends a world free from plastic pollution, hides the amount of plastic fishing gear that ends up in the ocean. The Sea’s Conspiracy claims that nearly half of the plastic in the ocean is made up of fishing nets. Although, fishing gear is actually contributing to ocean pollution, according to a study Green area Only about ten percent of all plastic in the ocean. The Plastic Pollution Alliance wrote in a statement that filmmakers harassed their employees and chose excerpts from their interviews to support their own opinions.

Critics also argue that one of the film’s most shocking stats is false. Which was included in the documentary a study From 2006, which he predicts that “the ocean will be empty by 2048,” has long ago been disproved by the study’s author.

Abstaining from fish is not an option for poor countries

Filmmakers are often accused of “white savior” behavior. The term “The White Savior Complex” describes the phenomenon of the Western Savior narration. Oceana, an NGO working to protect the seas, wrote in a statement: “The decision to stop eating seafood is not a realistic option for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on fishing on the beach – many of whom have also been affected by poverty, hunger and malnutrition. “.

Environmental scientist Christina Hicks also agreed. “Yes, there are problems, but there is progress as well,” the world wrote on Twitter. “Fish are still essential to food and nutritional security in many endangered regions.”

Experts protect maritime piracy

But Callum Roberts, professor of marine conservation at the University of Exeter, who was featured in “Seaspiracy,” defends the documentary. The film was not made for scientific accuracy. He used cinematic storytelling techniques to make his point, “Roberts said out loud.”Watchman».

Brice de Stuart, a marine ecologist and fish biologist at York University in England, can also protect the film to a certain extent. The movie clearly contained a lot of misinformation, but it highlighted poaching as the biggest threat to marine biodiversity at the moment.

Poaching is often driven by greed and the desire to maximize profits, but also by inequality, poverty and mismanagement, which leaves people with few other options. “Overfishing also interacts with many other threats to the oceans, such as climate change, ocean acidification and pollution,” Stewart said.inverse». “All of these threats need to be addressed at the same time, and dealing with them in isolation is ineffective.” However, mankind does not have to abandon fish consumption entirely, as sustainable fishing is present.