In this week’s addition of Vegan View Wingspan dives beneath the surface for its second installment of Seaspiracy.

Seaspiracy: part two

Switching gears from ocean pollution to the ocean itself, there are major issues that are in desperate need of attention. It was explained in the documentary, Seaspiracy, that underwater organisms make up the largest percentage of life on earth, still, humans continue disrupting and destroying their habitats.

Many people have gained an understanding of land deforestation, but are oblivious to the ocean deforestation that is being caused by the fishing industry. There is a specific technique known as bottom trawling mentioned in the documentary that was said to have been mostly to blame for the 3.9 billion acres of ocean floors that have been wiped out. This method involves deploying a heavy weighted net to the bottom of the ocean, dragging it along in hopes to catch as many fish as possible. While this is effective, it results in catastrophic damages to the native habitats.

According to Seaspiracy, other than scraping away the seabeds, the biggest effect of factory fishing is bycatch, marine life caught unintentionally while trying to catch a certain species. In the film, it was said that around 50 million animals get captured in these nets per year, most of which do not survive. These creatures are more important to our environment than we give them credit for, they deserve protection.

Phytoplankton is a small species that absorb carbon dioxide and produce about 85% of the world’s oxygen. The film stated that all together, marine life regulates on average 30% of emissions, stabilizing our environment. Overfishing and removing species from the water at exponential rates are causing reactions all the way down the food chain. During an interview in Seaspiracy, Dr. Sylvia Earle said our oceans will be virtually empty by 2048 because, “If we keep taking wildlife at the level we are today, there will be no commercial fishing”.  Even the biggest oil spill in history harmed less marine life than the fishing industry does in a single day. 

The planet we live in has been placed in a dangerous position due to the mass amounts of fishing that is taking place. Endangering species, polluting the waters, damaging the atmosphere, all for something humans can live without. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in the algae that fish consume, not the actual fish themselves. Causing such ruin under the surface at the hands of the fishing industry is only putting mankind in more danger along with all the other species. Frustration is brought about from the knowledge that most of these issues are preventable, and for only a short time, reversible.

Many people are trying to help our waters, and have ideas on how to start:

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