Watched Seaspiracy. The first thing I thought was here are my favourite marine biologists lined up nicely. There was Dr. Sylvia Earle – a.k.a. her deepness. Long-time authority on the state of the world underwater. Side note: she has an amazing voice, no? Like cold water over rocks.
And Prof Callum Roberts, author of Unnatural History of the Sea. I first read his book ten years ago or so, thinking this man must be 150 years-old, the amount of time it would have taken anyone to painstakingly research this book. But no, turns out he is just smart. Doh.
Definitely much younger than 150, Callum Roberts was wearing glasses in the interview which matched the colour of his bright blue shirt. And he smiled so self-effacingly. Aww, my arms prickled. This was going to be good.
A lot of the film for me was learning the details. I didn’t realise for example, exactly the reason the Japanese kill so many dolphins, without even using their flesh, is simply because they see the dolphins as competition. What, are they worried the dolphins might start up a tech company to rival the microchip? A Mitsubishi for dolphins?
No, the filmmaker and his partner, Ali and Lucy Tabrizi, stumbled next door to the fishing port. It was one of the most important blue-fin tuna ports for the Japanese. Where each blue-fin brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It was strange to me how their discovery was so random. This movie sure did a lot of seemingly innocuous ’stumbling.’ I’m going to stumble upon this fact, then this painful realisation. Is that how it really worked out for this film? Did they line up the amazing marine authorities afterwards, like an add-in after they found out the bad stuff?
I will never know, but shame on me for wondering. I have the same cynical side effect with My Octopus Teacher. He was just really going for a humble swim everyday with an octopus… accompanied by a camera crew? Or was all that professional-film quality his own as he free-dived with a wetsuit in the blue toe-inducing South Aftican waters?
I know, I know. Shame on me again. It’s just when the BBC admitted some of their underwater stuff was done in aquarium conditions, they were almost struck off. I didn’t mind personally. Filming the wildlife world is hard. But when these programmes are cynical in the way they are made – by convincing viewers they are just a walk through the park when in fact the park is closed off and full of lighting and sound engineers, I dunno. I can’t help but think people should at least know.
Anyway, back to the point. The big reveal. Fishing gear is a major cause of pollution and destruction in the ocean – which no one is talking about. Comprising at least 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Marine conservation groups don’t want to talk because they are aligned with the fisheries. The only people who do so are the academics like Earle and Roberts – or the renegades. Awww, here comes Sea Shepherd.
Love Sea Shepherd. We have their ensign onboard, but it is a bit pirate-y and this makes me wary of flying it. Urghh. Still, you need good intentions to operate on your own at sea. Saying that, more than half the sailors we know have been caught up in fishing junk at some point. Out in the middle of nowhere, propellers and rudders disabled by discarded gear.
This happened to us on the way to Bonaire – and Jack jumped in to cut us free. A rather hairy moment. Or fishy. Or both.