What Seaspiracy gets wrong…

A fishing vessel on the ocean at night.

Seaspiracy, a new documentary from Netflix, purports to expose some of the wrongdoing within the global commercial fishing industry. As with every situation, there are two sides to the story. Here’s a useful analysis:

The film includes all the damning evidence and dramatic footage required to make the important point that industrial fishing is — throughout the world — a too often out-of-control, sometimes criminal enterprise that needs to be reined in and regulated. In this, it reinforces and shares with a wide audience a knowledge that is widespread in the ocean conservation community, but not in the public at large.

However, overall Seaspiracy does more harm than good. It takes the very serious issue of the devastating impact of industrial fisheries on life in the ocean and then undermines it with an avalanche of falsehoods. It also employs questionable interviewing techniques, uses anti-Asian tropes, and blames the ocean conservation community, i.e., the very NGOs trying to fix things, rather than the industrial companies actually causing the problem.