So, you watched Seaspiracy, now what?
Seaspiracy is a powerful documentary that has the entire world feeling inspired to save our oceans, just in time for Earth month, too! Exposing the horrid realities of the industrial commercial fishing industry, Seaspiracy introduces some intense issues that show us all the ways our ocean has been dying as a result of our actions.
I want to introduce myself - I'm Carissa. I'm a marine conservationist with a background in community and student education and saving endangered marine animals. Experts in the field have their criticisms of the film, because these extremely complex issues have been oversimplified to reach millions of every day people. However, this simplified and sensationalized translation has mobilized millions to preserve our oceans. As a marine conservationist, that's all I could ever want. As an educator, I'm here to channel your inspiration into action so the ripples Seaspiracy has started within you can turn into waves.
1. Contact your elected officials
I'm serious. I know it's uncomfortable, but it is so necessary. Seaspiracy introduces the harrowing reality of political power within the seafood industry, including the massive subsidies going to fund the industrial fishing practices that are causing so much harm. Use this tool to contact both your senators and representatives that you want legislation introduced for our oceans. Some things you can mention are ending subsidies, more marine protected areas, funding for endangered species, and shifting subsidies to small-scale fishing.
2. Change your diet
The films calls for an immediate shift to a vegan diet. It can be challenging to go cold turkey, but drastically reducing your consumption of industrial-caught seafood can serve as a form of protest against this behavior. I have been plant-based for around 6 years, and eliminated seafood from my diet in 2013. With so many options, it's never been more accessible to explore a more plant based diet. If you choose to eat seafood, know that there are small-scale sustainable fisheries that help people, and you may have one available in your coastal area. If you don't live by the coast, be prepared with how challenging it can be to discover the source of your seafood and consider alternatives.
3. Get educated
Learn more about the topics that inspired you from the film such as marine protected areas (MPAs), shark finning, Taiji dolphin hunt, and what organizations are helping. Stay active and inspired in your work to save our seas, and know that your individual choices can have an enormous impact on healing our oceans. As I mentioned, we specialize in marine conservation education and have free resources available for you - including a free middle school curriculum for teachers, funded by National Geographic, and a bed time story to teach children about the impact of plastic pollution in our oceans. I've also been published on a paper evaluating the impacts of fishing gear on seabirds if you love reading scientific publications.
Along with all these, you can learn about 4 more ways to save wildlife in my last blog post including donating and volunteering for an organization helping to make a difference. Don't forget to say loud and motivated to do the uncomfortable work of unlearning how we choose to live our lives, consume our food, and make every day decisions. Sometimes, you need a film like Seaspiracy to move you to question all your choices, and the unseen individuals that may have been hurt along the way.
Seaspiracy is available for streaming on Netflix.