Having watched Seaspiracy, and asked to comment, I have to say I agree with the premise, but I believe they have taken an all-or-nothing approach for how to resolve the issues it raises. I understand why. For decades now I’ve been trying to petition industry players, consumers and authorities to adopt and support a more artisanal approach to fishing. What needs to happen is an elimination of mass-catching methods. The use of greenwashing ecolabels such as MSC, ‘Dolphin Friendly’ etc that purport to offer the consumer an ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ purchase is a furphy. These accreditations are purchased and, in my view, don’t deserve their kudos and have been used as cover to perpetrate further decimation of fish stocks. Some of the ‘expert’ opinions expressed in the doco I feel are compromised by their involvement and/or vested interests. Big Fish have used ecolabels, influenced politicians with donations (who have then directed the fisheries authorities to permit unsustainable methods to flourish). The industry and its helpers have spun this ‘sustainability’ story and the misled consumer then believes the fish they are purchasing can be both cheap and sustainable because a label tells them so.
The only way to ‘cheap fish’ is harvesting via mass catch methods, you can see some of these boats and their trails from space.
I’ve been banging this drum for 25 years now. In the last few years on social media so as to reach the consumer and inform them of the disparity between ecolabel ‘sustainability’ and real sustainability. The only answer is to fish with an artisanal technique. Not an industrial scale. Artisanal catching is more humane, the seafood is value-added, there’s zero environmental footprint and the quality of the seafood is far superior. The environment benefits and the resource can recover.
I want to point out an Amazon doco worthy of attention titled “hand.line.cod”. The Fogo Island Cod industry were forced to revert to artisanal fishing, as their fishery had collapsed due to decimation by industrial fishing. They’re on the right road. Some of their techniques need adjusting. I will discuss this more in my next post.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives
valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high
achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt