“Seas and Plots” … about slavery and the destruction of oceans


The websites contain tens of thousands of documentaries about everything from cat killers to music festivals, but some films offer a unique proposition that may make you think completely differently about some issues. Among those films were “Black Whale”, which was released in 2013, which dealt with the issue of illegal whaling, and then the film “Cow Plot: The Secret of Sustainability” in 2014 about livestock. Netflix is ​​currently presenting a documentary film released in 2021, entitled “Seas and Conspiracies.”According to Sophie Gallagher published in the newspaper, “”The Independent“This documentary is about the fishing sector, with the participation of a group of the makers of the movie” Cow Conspiracy “, and provides new facts about what it really means for seafood to be sustainable. The film sheds light on global fisheries and shows how the problems of the seas are evolving while everyone focuses on On the problems of land cultivation.

Traveling the world from the Faroe Islands to Thailand, Japan and Scotland, filmmaker and narrator Ali Tabrizi (and his partner) depict a journey that begins with a childish love for the ocean, ending with revealing some of the biggest problems, and whether those charged with caring for the ocean are doing their part properly or not. Here are the seven biggest lessons the Independent has taken from the documentary, which will shape the way we look at fish stocks in the future.

Plastic problem in the seas

The documentary begins with very familiar titles about whales and other marine animals spewed onto the beaches with their bellies full of plastic, as well as footage from the highly publicized campaigns on reducing the amount of plastic that humans throw into the ocean, in particular cotton buds, straws and plastic bottles.

“There is an amount of plastic equal to a garbage truck being thrown into the ocean every minute,” Tabrizi says. “There are actually more than 150 billion tons of microplastics, it now exceeds the number of stars in the Milky Way.”

Fishing nets

Given the amount of attention paid to reducing household or individual use of plastic and government campaigns to ban plastic cotton buds, straws and stirring tools, it is natural for the public to see these things as the greatest threat to the marine environment. But Seas and Plots says that one of the biggest plastic deposits is in fact by-products of commercial fishing, such as nets, as it confirms that 46 percent of waste is in the Pacific Ocean.
[مجموعة من الحطام البحري في شمال المحيط الهادئ، والمعروفة أيضا باسم دوامة
نفايات المحيط الهادئ] It consists of fishing nets, while plastic straws represent only 0.03 percent of the plastic entering the ocean. In fact, long fishing ropes are enough to circle the planet 500 times each day.

“Discarded fishing nets are more dangerous to marine life than plastic straws because they are designed to kill,” says environmentalist George Monbiot. The film confirms that only 1000 turtles were killed by plastic in the oceans, while 250 thousand sea turtles were caught, injured or killed by fishing vessels. Marine scientist Calumen Roberts says the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill “benefited” marine life because large areas became closed to fishing, giving the oceans a respite.


By-catch is fish or mammals that are caught unintentionally when anglers try to catch a specific fish, such as catching dolphins in nets designed to catch tuna. Some of these fish are killed on the spot, but even those thrown into the sea often don’t survive, according to the movie. The film confirms that up to 50 million sharks are caught by accident every year.

“One of the most shocking things that most people don’t realize is that the biggest threat to whales and dolphins is commercial fishing. More than 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed every year as a result of industrial hunting,” says Captain Peter Hammarsstedt of the environmental organization Sea Shepherd. And the “Sea Shepherd” organization confirms that up to 10 thousand dolphins are caught annually in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of France.

This is not only a problem in terms of killing these organisms, but it also threatens the climate, because whales and dolphins play a crucial role in fertilizing phytoplankton in the sea, which the movie “Seas and Plots” says absorbs four times the amount of carbon dioxide that the Amazon rainforest absorbs, generating 85 percent of the oxygen on Earth.

Food labels do not reflect the truth

If you are reassuring yourself that your seafood consumption is not harmful to dolphins because the can has a “dolphin safe” label, the movie prompts you to think about it again.

When asked about the reliability of the “Safe on Dolphins” label, Mark J. Palmer of the Earth Island Institute, who is in charge of the “Safe on Dolphins” program, said: “No, no one can guarantee that the product is safe for dolphins – once the fishermen are out there in the ocean.” How do you know what they are doing? We have observers on board but they can be bribed, and they do not participate regularly. ”

In a statement on the institute’s website, Palmer explained in response to what was stated in the film: “When we asked if they were able to ensure that no dolphins were killed when catching tuna anywhere in the world, I responded that there are no guarantees. Largely from the number of ships deliberately chasing and trying to catch dolphins, in addition to other regulations in place, the number of dolphins killed is very low. The film took my words out of context to indicate that there is no control and we do not know whether the dolphins are being killed or not. Simply incorrect. ”

The bottom line is that the “safe for dolphins” sign and fishing restrictions save the lives of the dolphins. While commercial fishing is getting out of control in many cases around the world, canned tuna labeled “safe for dolphins” is an indication of protection. For dolphins, the conservation of fish stocks is more proof than the vast majority of other fisheries. ”

In defense of its testimonies, a spokesperson for the Maritime Supervision Board added: “These certificates are not approved by the Maritime Supervision Board – it is a process independent of us and carried out by experienced evaluation bodies. It is a completely transparent process and NGOs and others have multiple opportunities to file objections. All our assessments can be viewed online via the ‘Fisheries Tracking’ service. Fisheries that meet the stringent requirements we have set are certified.

“Contrary to what the filmmakers say, certification is not an easy process, and some fisheries spend many years improving their practices in order to reach our standards. Indeed, our analysis shows that the vast majority of the fisheries that take place are,” adds a Maritime Supervisory Board spokesperson. Advance assessments according to our standards do not meet these standards and major improvements are required to obtain certification. ”

Environmental sustainability standards

In addition to asking questions about posters like “Safe for the dolphins,” the movie also wonders if there is any way in which fishing can meet environmental sustainability standards, or if there is any type of fish that we can eat without damaging the ocean like fishing. Commercial on a large scale. But much of the documentary appears to indicate that sustainability remains a vague term.

“There is no definition of sustainability in terms of fisheries work. The consumer cannot properly assess what sustainable and unsustainable fish are,” says Maria Jose Cornex, fisheries campaigns manager for Oceana Europe, a non-profit organization that aims to conserve the oceans. The consumer makes a clear decision at the present time. ”

“We expect that by the middle of the twenty-first century, if we continue to catch wild fish at the level we are today, there will not be enough fish to catch,” says Dr. Sylvia Alice Earle, a US marine biologist. She expected the oceans to be devoid of fish. Almost by the year 2048.

Seas and Conspiracies confirms that up to 2.7 trillion fish are caught annually, or five million fish every minute, and says that no other industry on Earth has killed so many mammals. The film also sheds light on the problems that arise from some fishing methods such as bottom roe fishing [طريقة صيد تتضمن جر الشباك الثقيلة عبر قاع البحر], Which the movie claims wipes out an estimated 3.9 billion acres of seabed annually.

Is culture a suitable solution?

The film introduces the option of aquaculture as an alternative to hunting wild fish from the seas. But on a visit to a salmon farm in Scotland, the film reveals the reproductive problems on these farms, such as diseases, lice and litter. The film says that each salmon farm produces as much organic waste as 20,000 people, and that the Scottish salmon industry produces the same organic waste as the people of Scotland each year. The film also claims that as a result of the cultivation of shrimp and prawns, 38 percent of the world’s coastal deer forests are destroyed.

Slavery at sea

For Georges Monbiot, working conditions in fisheries are a new kind of slavery. The documentary compares the number of American soldiers who died during the 5 years of the Iraq war – nearly 4,500 soldiers – and the deaths among fishermen during the same period, which amounted to 360,000 deaths. “It’s the same criminal groups that are behind drug smuggling and human trafficking,” says Captain Hammarsstedt of Sea Shepherd.

Former fishermen, interviewed in Thailand, claim they have been held in boats for years, lived squalid conditions, and faced death threats. One of them claimed that the captain of the ship kept the bodies of a number of sailors in a refrigerator.

In addition to this misery suffered by a number of fishermen, the documentary also links between the destruction of fish wealth and the forced some poor communities to eat more bushmeat and wild mammal meat, in light of the lack of fish. The documentary links this increase to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Stop eating fish

Although the documentary explores different options – such as eating more sustainable fish or farmed fish, rather than fish from the wild – it concludes that the best thing to do for marine ecosystems is to not eat fish at all. The film also calls for the creation of “no-fishing zones” around the world in order to preserve fish stocks.

The film says that long-held beliefs that fish do not feel pain or that they are not smart enough to feel fear are unfounded, and that other reasons for avoiding fishing include heavy contamination with industrial materials, including mercury, heavy metals and dioxins. As per the movie “Seas and Plots”, the fish should be completely off the menu.

But the Marine Stewardship Council says: “Sustainable fishing does exist and helps protect our oceans. One of the amazing things about our oceans is that fish stocks can recover and replenish if managed carefully in the long term. We disagree with much of what the makers of the documentary ‘Seas and Plots’ say, But one thing we agree with is that there is a crisis of overfishing in our oceans. Nevertheless, millions around the world depend on seafood to meet their protein needs. With the world’s population reaching 10 billion by 2050, the need to monitor our natural resources has become a responsibility. More urgent than ever before, and sustainable fishing plays a vital role in securing those resources. “


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