There’s only handful of things you will watch in your life that will irrevocably change you, this is one of them.
It’s no surprise that we are destroying the oceans by filling it with plastic, and we’ve all seen turtles with cotton buds lodged in their noses or stomachs full of plastics bags plastic straws and mircoplastics, but according to the documentary of the 150 billion tons of plastic in the sea 46% is fishing nets.
The documentary quickly turns its attention upon the fishing industry as the cause for the global havoc that we are wreaking on the oceans. It claims that:
- 90% of the world’s large fish have been wiped out by fishing.
- Slavery in the seafood industry is reported in 47 countries and abuse and murder are common on these fishing vessels.
- Governments give 35 billion dollars to the fishing industry every year to continue plundering our seas.
- 250,000 sea turtles are captured, injured or killed by the fishing industry every year in the US.
- 300,000 dolphins, whales and porpoises are killed every year in fishing nets along with 30,000 sharks per hour!
Whales and Dolphins are vital to the survival of our planet as “each time they go to the surface to breath they fertilise tiny marine plants called Phytoplankton which every year absorb 4x the amount of carbon dioxide than the Amazon rainforest does which generate 85% of the oxygen we breath. Protecting these animals means protecting the entire planet.”
The most shocking things in this documentary for me wasn’t the masses of plastic we are dumping into the ocean each day, or the whales and dolphins washing up on beach but it was this…
- Huge pods of dolphins are being intentionally rounded up and slaughtered as fishermen believe they are depleting fish stocks and creating competition for the fishing industry.
- The labels we see on seafood such as MSC Sustainable Fishing and Dolphin Safe have absolutely no guarantee. In fact one fishing vessel killed 45 dolphins to catch 8 tunas, and was working under the Dolphin Safe label.
- Despite a world-wide ban on whaling Japan re-started whaling.
- Sharks are also vital to keeping our oceans alive, and they are rapidly depleting due to killing for fins or bycatch from commercial fishing fleets and many are discarded back into the ocean dead.
- It’s an intricate system of a closely interlinked food chain, and when you start killing the predators it moves down the chain until there’s not enough food for the others who overpopulate and then die out and this goes on and on.
- 1,000 sea turtles die each year from plastic in the ocean, but a shocking 250,000 sea turtles are captured, injured or killed every year in the US alone from fishing vessels.
- If current fishing practices continue we will sea near empty oceans by the year 2048.
The list goes on and on and It seems that the only way as an individual to stop this horror happening at sea is to STOP EATING FISH. Even fish farming was proven to be unsustainable. The documentary also claims that due to the pollution in the sea eating fish is actually doing more harm than good to our bodies and isn’t even giving us the nutrients that we think. We are simply consuming micro- plastics, Mercury and other toxic chemicals that erase any of the good stuff we would get out of eating fish.
Watching this documentary made me re-think about my whole life, how I view fishing, and it honestly changed the way I see everything. Earth Souls Yoga started as a way to educate people about the environmental crisis and what we are doing to our planet, and do whatever we could to help it. Living by the ocean or in the mountains we see first hand the damage that is done to our planet, but never did I imagine the horrors going on beyond our view of the horizon. We organise weekly beach cleanups, promote zero waste and plastic-free living, but as well as all of this we need turn the attention to animals, the lives that we are taking pointlessly. We need to open our eyes to where our food is coming from and how many lives have suffered or died for our meal, it will very likely be more than one.
If you are looking for an additional way to do something about this we are proudly supporting WDC, the leading global charity protecting whales and dolphins by campaigning to end captivity, stop whaling, create healthy seas and prevent deaths in nets. You can find out more about them and donate at https://uk.whales.org