- Hailey Gabron
Seaspiracy: Exposing the Untold Secrets of 75% of the World
The new Netflix original documentary “Seaspiracy” exposes the commercial fishing industry and the environmental and ethical concerns with its practices. The filmmaker, Ali Tabrizi, originally set out to create a film with colorful fish, abundant coral reefs and clear, blue water; however, after research he found disturbing news revealing the unnecessary and brutal killings of marine mammals and plants. Tabrizi travels to Taiji (southern Japan) where he is met by the police, the secret service and the coast guard to hide the Japanese practice of killing dolphins. Tabrizi secretly films the Japanese capturing and killing dolphins each day. The Japanese kept one valuable dolphin for the marine park entertainment industry while simultaneously massacring twelve others in the process. Seeing the dolphins as competition, they kill the innocent creatures who may take fish away from human competitors for bluefin tuna and other important fish. Bluefin tuna is a 42 billion dollar industry, and shark finning, another multi-billion dollar industry, has created a vacuum of greed that threatens not only mammal populations but also marine plants and the entire ecosystem. Trawling, the practice of sweeping the ocean floor for fish, destroys 3.9 million acres per year of ocean floors and effectively reduces carbon dioxide storage because the marine plants hold 20 times more carbon than the forests do on land.
Tabrizi ultimately leads viewers on a paper trail through multiple countries, where he exposes “sustainable” labels, the graphic slaughtering of whales, dolphins and sharks and the risks of industrial fishing not only on marine life but also on humans. “Seaspiracy” ultimately concludes that no fish is sustainably caught even in these farms and the best thing one can do for the environment is to avoid eating fish altogether.
This week's drawing was inspired by “Seaspiracy” and harmful human practices that will destroy our beautiful oceans. In the middle of the drawing, the plastic bag and fishing net that surround a fish represents the growing number of plastics that enter our oceans each day. I specifically incorporated the fishing net because, while most people stress the importance of plastics, such as straws and bags, few know that the majority of the plastics in the ocean are from the fishing industry. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (1.6 square kilometers), 46% are made up of fishing nets. Pictured in the left corner is a shark fin soup bowl filled with blood, fins and a hammerhead shark head. Shark fin soup is a delicacy and a sign of status in many Asian countries, but it comes at the cost of wiping at one of the most important apex predators of our oceans. I hope that we can eventually set aside greed and money to protect the oceans because we may never get it back if we do not act fast.