I RECENTLY watched the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy and, as an ardent supporter of our oceans and the marine life contained within them, I feel compelled to raise awareness of this programme and beg you to watch it.
Yes, I did say “BEG”.
It’s a hard watch, but really brings home the importance of being aware of the damage humans are inflicting on the oceans—not just the tons of rubbish being dumped into them everyday, but more critically the excessive amount of fishing which is damaging the food chain; from micro-organisms to the largest animal on earth: the blue whale.
The oceans support 80% of life on planet Earth. Marine plants store, per acre, 20 times more carbon than the rainforests, while up to 93% of the world’s CO2 is stored in the oceans with the help of algae and coral.
Fish excrement feeds the corals, but now 90% of our fish have disappeared from the reefs and the coral are dying.
In 1986 there was a worldwide ban on whaling, but now the Japanese have chosen to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission and resume this appalling atrocity.
And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, in one area of Southern Japan—Taiji—the fishermen lure dolphins into the bay and slaughter over 700 of them each year; just because the two are competing for bluefin tuna.
The Japanese want this valuable seafood for themselves. A single bluefin tuna has fetched as much as $3 million in a Tokyo fish market and is currently the most expensive fish in the ocean.
But now, thanks to the over-fishing of them, only 3% of bluefin tuna remain.
Between 2000 and 2015 the Japanese were catching dolphins to sell on to marine parks for up to $100,000 each. But for every one caught, 12 were killed.
They are using dolphins as a scapegoat for their overfishing and calling it ‘pest control’.
This is truly shocking. Dolphins are intelligent animals and we have no right to take their lives in such a barbaric way and for no good reason.
The bay at Taiji is heavily policed, and anyone caught observing the atrocities taking place there will undoubtedly end up in jail.
Whales and dolphins are as important to the survival of our planet as the rainforests.
When they come to the surface to breathe, they exhale a fertiliser called ‘phytoplankton’. This is known to absorb four times the amount of carbon dioxide as the Amazon rainforest and generates 85% of the oxygen we breathe.
IF WHALES AND DOLPHINS BECOME EXTINCT—SO DO WE!
Sharks are also in danger of extinction because they’re being killed for their fins to make shark fin soup; a delicacy in Asia. A bowl of this soup sells for $100 despite the fact it has little taste and zero nutritional value.
In Hong Kong there’s an area known as Shark Fin City. But, make no mistake, visitors are NOT welcome there.
Sharks are a key player in keeping the oceans’ ecosystems alive and healthy. However, since 1950, their population has plummeted 80-90% and, as a result, bird numbers have shrunk by 70%.
Six of the seven species of sea turtle are also threatened by excess fishing, and the USA is responsible for more than 250,000 being killed or injured every year.
And then there’s bycatch, the incidental capture of non-target species of marine life in vast fishing nets.
Fifty million sharks are caught every year through bycatch—which works out at between 11,000-30,000 per hour. At least half of these will be thrown back into the sea and most will die if they aren’t dead already.
Bycatch is responsible for millions of marine life deaths every year, all due to overfishing by the commercial fishing industry, which has some 4,600,000 vessels or killing machines at sea.
In just one month, in Iceland, bycatch killed 269 Harbour Porpoises, 900 Seals (four different species) and 5000 sea birds.
Meanwhile, France is responsible for the deaths of 10,000 dolphins a year through bycatch and commercial fishing in general kills 300,000 whales and dolphins per annum.
The number of fish killed by commercial fishing totals in the region of 2.7 trillion a year—or five million every minute.
Another frightening fact about our oceans concerns the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of 1.6 million square km which has already had more than 150 million tons of rubbish dumped in it—with new truckloads added every minute.
Fishing nets and associated equipment account for 46% of plastic pollution in our oceans, while microplastics now outnumber the stars in the Milky Way galaxy by x 500.
The number of long-line fishing lines being used would wrap 500 times around our planet every day.
There is so much more to learn from this informative and educational programme—and to understand that, when you buy canned fish which says ‘Dolphin-Friendly’ or ‘Line-Caught’, it most definitely isn’t!
Organisations such as the Earth Island Institute and Oceana, when questioned, have little to say in defence of the marine life and oceans they claim to be protecting, while the use of the word ‘Sustainability’ is simply a marketing ploy.
It’s currently predicted our oceans will be empty by 2048 if fishing continues at the current rate.
And mankind cannot survive on this planet with a dead sea.
Please don’t turn a blind eye to this looming storm. You cannot say: “it won’t affect me”, because, of course, it will. And not just you—your children and grandchildren too.
THIS IS A REALITY—WE HAVE TO TAKE ACTION AND NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
Please watch Seaspiracy.
We must lobby governments around the world to act—for all of our sakes.
’Til next time,