Seaspiracy Claims The Oceans Will Be Empty By 2048, Is That True? | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Seaspiracy Claims The Oceans Will Be Empty By 2048, Is That True?

If you recently watched Seaspiracy on Netflix only to overhaul your entire diet and rid your pantry of countless tins of tuna and seafood, you’re not alone. The documentary might just be the most effective appetite suppressant, as its powerful storytelling shines a light on the relentless looting of the ocean and the disruption this has brought to its ecosystems. It’s at times hard to watch, even more so to stomach, but nevertheless the documentary is one that is necessary viewing. 

While the documentary has garnered a strong following in recent weeks since its launch on the streaming platform, it’s not without its fair share of criticism either. Many have spoken out against the documentary, claiming it is merely a sensationalist film that utilises “gotcha” interviews to make powerful people look tone deaf and foolish. While some have gone on to question the accuracy of the film, an overwhelming majority stand firm in support.

One of the bold claims made in the documentary is that if we don’t change our ways, Earth’s oceans will be emptied by 2048. It’s this that has received the most widespread criticism, but as Professor Callum Roberts, a marine conservationist at the University of Exeter said in response to the pushback: “It’s [Seaspiracy] not been made for its scientific rigour. It has used the techniques of film storytelling to make its case. My colleagues may rue the statistics, but the basic thrust of it is we are doing a huge amount of damage to the ocean and that’s true. At some point you run out. Whether it’s 2048 or 2079, the question is: ‘Is the trajectory in the wrong direction or the right direction?’”

Adding to this, Seaspiracy directors Ali and Lucy Tabrizi said in an interview with Plant Based News, “The study estimates that with current fishing trends – if they continue – we could see empty oceans, or commercially virtually empty oceans, by 2048.”

They add, “And this is speculation. As with every [study] – there’s going to be a margin of error. In some places in our oceans, that year is going to be further. In some parts of our oceans, it’s already happened – where it’s no longer viable to catch fish. There’s just none left anymore.”

Ali continued: “The overall trend is what we need to look at. So who cares if it’s 2048, 2050, or 2051? The trajectory is showing that fish populations are declining overall. Sure, you might get a few species that are rebounding a little bit, because we reduce fishing pressure – but the overall trend is going downwards. I believe the scientists put forward a statement saying that so long as we follow some sustainable measures – we’re not going to see empty oceans by 2048. I believe that might have been used to justify continuing fishing. But the thing is, that would be dependent on doing those sustainable measures. There’s no real evidence globally that we’re doing that.”

Just last week, the duo behind the controversial film created an online petition to help protect 30 per cent of the oceans by 2030. In just three days, it’s already garnered more than 100,o00 signatures and now stands at 300,000. The petition calls for more ‘no-catch’ zones and, if successful, would be installed in at least 30 per cent of waters around the UK. It reads: “Unless we act now we will live to see the death of the oceans. And, our children will never know the wonder and beauty of our once thriving blue planet. Seaspiracy has exposed the truth. But, we can’t fix this on our own. Now we need action, and that’s where you come in. Together we can change this.”

It goes without saying that the documentary has become a must-watch on Netflix. If you’re wanting to do more to help, you can sign the Seaspiracy petition here. 

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