ronically, the fishing industry is quite literally conspiring to head-off the bombshell that will hit them when the long-awaited and highly anticipated documentary Seaspiracy debuts next week. Thanks to Plant Based News for drawing attention to leaked documents provided to them, we now know the extent to which the industry is worried.
Seaspiracy is a documentary that like its predecessor Cowspiracy will blow the lid off yet another facet of the animal exploitation industry. The fishing industry claims there is no such conspiracy and that they’re honest about everything, yet leaked documents provided to Plant Based News and reported on today reveal that secret plans are indeed in the making.
Despite not knowing exactly what will be revealed in the documentary as it won’t be released until March 24, US trade group the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is already putting together a campaign to counter what it claims is “vegan propaganda”.
According to PBN, the leaked letter outlines a media strategy that will “combat inaccuracies” and basically go full Karen on Netflix and ask to speak to its manager about its presentation of facts. The NFI will also be contacting restaurants and retailers to prepare them for the coming war, arming them with their weapon of choice - so-called “friendly talking points”.
Quoting from the document: “Hijacking a lifestyle while disingenuously targeting an industry that provides billions of healthy meals and employs 1.7 million Americans is an unacceptable and dishonest attack.” As if providing employment somehow excuses them from the atrocities - to both in regards to human and animal rights - that they themselves expect to be revealed.
The NFI is coming out with all guns blazing too, it seems, with its VP of communications Gavin Gibbons also issuing a stern letter to the co-CEO and Chief Content Officer of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, stating the following:
“The producers of this film are vegan activists… Veganism is a fine choice for some – but my heavens, they do miss out on the complete array of seafood options like enormous King Crab, buttery Maine lobster, succulent Iceland cod, and omega-rich Alaska salmon.”
Ah, silly us. Because lobsters are buttery, cod is succulent and salmon is rich in omega-3, that means we are free to take their lives and at the same time fuel an industry which treats its workers appallingly. According to the TheConversation.com:
The average consumer may not realise it, but the fishing industry is also tied to some horrific abuses of human rights. In putting a meal on the table, you may also be helping to sustain patterns of exploitation and abuse at sea.
Several reports have highlighted that some sectors of the fishing industry continue to use forced labour and physical punishment, and even deliberately kill workers. Fishers can be extremely vulnerable while at sea, far out of sight of law enforcement agencies or help from friends and family.
We question how complete the NFI’s counter-campaign can be without knowing exactly what it is they’ll be countering. But of course, they know full well what’s going to be in the documentary. They know what skeletons are in the cupboard, and will have been keeping tabs on Seaspiracy’s filmmakers as they travelled the world. The questions they asked in interviews will have been passed on in many a panicked phone call.
Also, what Seaspiracy reveals will not be anything new, it will just be the first time it’s all presented on a major streaming platform watched by millions. Countless organisations and campaign groups have highlighted the many failings of the fishing industry when it comes to human rights abuses and the impact of fishing on the environment - including plastics in our oceans - and the ethics of taking the lives of fish that science tells us feel pain and have an experience that we would know of as suffering.
It is clear that the fishing industry is worried. If there was nothing to fear, they wouldn’t react this way. Cowspiracy may have used refutable science, but in the years since its release, it has come to be widely accepted that animal agriculture - at least on land - has a disproportionately large impact on the environment. Similarly, while Seaspiracy might focus on some more sensational aspects of the fishing industry to make its story more compelling, there will be no denying the underlying facts.
For example, just yesterday we reported on the great ‘fish fraud’ as revealed thanks to an investigation by the Guardian that found that as much as 55 per cent of all aquatic animals sold for food in the UK is mislabelled and sold as something else. According to the report, mislabelling is both lucrative and incredibly easy to do, fuelling illegal fishing in remote waters.
Even if they could bring about changes that safeguarded workers, preventing them from getting killed, paying them fairly, it wouldn’t change the fact that animals from the sea do not deserve to be ripped from the water and bludgeoned or suffocated slowly, put on ice to have their painful deaths prolonged for hours or even days. The fishing industry is rife with criminality and brutality, and is rotten to the core with no real way to fix itself, other than to cease existing.