The Environmental Impact Caused By Industrial Fishing

Netflix recently premiered one of the crudest documentaries on the environmental impact caused by industrial fishing, pointing out it as the main problem in the deaths of marine species, as well as pollution in the oceans.

How? That’s right, the documentary points out that neither plastic straws, nor beer packaging and, in general, all plasticized products are the second problem in marine habitats.

According to the documentary directed by and starring Ali Tabrizi, they are the nets that fishing vessels launch, the biggest problem in marine ecosystems, since they catch species that they should not, leading them mostly to death.

Accessory fishing

The term bycatch is commonly used to refer to all species that are caught accidentally, that is, those that are not the target of a particular fishery.

In 1997, the OECD defined bycatch as “the total mortality due to fishing, except for what is already considered as fishing for the target species”. Bycatch contributes to the decline of accidentally caught species.

Within the documentary we can be participants in chilling figures regarding the slaughter to which some species are being subjected, such as sharks, dolphins, whales and even some crustaceans and mollusks.

The fallacy of sustainability

Despite what one might think, the director of the documentary raises the problem of the fallacy of sustainability from two main problems: Corruption in the labeling of products that claim not to harm other species during industrial fishing and fish farming .

It might interest you: Scientists ask the UN to make environmental damage a war crime

Labeling corruption

This type of food fraud is directed by the most important fishing companies and some of the most recognized environmental organizations worldwide.

That’s right, the institutions we should trust are the ones that mostly hide this problem from society.

Why? The issue in question is a conflict of interest given that the organizations must remain somewhere, with the fisheries being the ones that allocate the most funds for their survival.

In this way, they guarantee that the labeling is favorable for their product, and consequently, gain the confidence of the most informed consumers.


One of the species most hurt by bad practices in industrial fishing are salmon, due to their demand in the market and the low density of their population, a scientific practice called fish farming was started.

Despite being a technique that has been carried out in thousands of places, according to the documentary, little has been said about the disadvantages it entails for fish, such as lice and disease pests that lead to death.

The images are shocking, as is the change they have in the coloration of their skin, due to the modification they make in their diet so that when they arrive at our tables they look an appetizing color.

Human rights violations

As if that were not enough all the problems that we mentioned before, the protagonist and director of Seaspiracy lets us see a harsh reality for all those artisanal fishermen who challenge industrial fishing boats.

When we talk about Somali pirates, that movie will probably come to you in which Tom Hanks has to save his crew in the middle of nowhere, however, the great reality is that these “pirates” are nothing more than fishermen looking for something to eat .

In recent years, industrial fishing has ended their food sustenance, forcing them to go out in canoes to face a dangerous situation on the high seas, this situation has made their profession the most dangerous on that side of the African continent.

On the other hand, one of the most serious human rights violations is the slavery of young Asians that the documentary shows us.

Through a series of interviews with young people who managed to escape, we can get an idea of the difficult situation that exists on the high seas, since many are thrown overboard when they lose their strength due to some disease.

Tristram Shandy