Seaspiracy: A story of our impact on the seas, accurate or misleading?  

Ali Tabrizi’s film rings an alarming bell about sea animals washing up with their stomach filled with plastic bearing in mind that they are the ones keeping the ocean alive. He claims that in a world concerned with carbon and climate change, protecting these animals means protecting the entire planet. 

© Seaspiracy exposes the sorry state of the ocean. (Photo by HOANG DINH Nam / AFP)

After finishing college, I have been working on other documentaries, but at twenty-two, I was ready to embark on making my own film on just how incredible the oceans were. But not long into starting this project, this romantic vision that I have always had of the ocean completely changed.

Ali Tabrizi

Ali Tabrizi filmed this documentary from a personal point of view as he talked about his obsession with life in the oceans. He mentioned his mentors in documentary productions like Jacques Cousteau, David Attenborough and Sylvia Earle who opened up a new whole world for him. Cousteau was one of the first documentary producers who understood, before others did, how critical our waters in this planet is to our survival. 

Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans

Jacques Cousteau

Life beneath the waves is home for up to 80% of all life on earth. And still many seas have not been explored till this day. However, news reports about life in the oceans are very devastating. In the last couple of months, a beached whale is found off in England’s coast which had more than 30 plastic bags inside its stomach. Bearing in mind that it’s the 29th whale of this species to become stranded across Europe lately. It’s the largest stranding episode in the last 100 years. In recent months, four others died in a number of beachings in the UK. 

© Ali Tabrizi (Filmmaker and avid ocean-lover) in Seaspiracy. c. Lucy Tabrizi

Importantly, when dolphins, whales and sharks return to the surface breath, they fertilize tiny marine plants in the ocean called Phytoplankton. These plants absorb every year four times the amount of carbon dioxide than the Amazon rain forest does. They also generate up to 85 % of the oxygen we breath on earth. 

All things considered, the film received strong criticism as it exaggerated in portraying the issue of life under water. The plastic pollution coalition stated that the filmmaker only picked some portions from their participation which add fuel to the story. A Marine biologist from the university of York claimed that the documentary did more harm than good when drawing connections which do not exist in reality. 

Noticeably, Ali Tabrizi fueled his own narrative from the beginning when he started his documentary with a stunning statement of a local fisherman in Thailand. “When ships are in the middle of the ocean where problems occur they can throw you overboard into the sea. It is dangerous for you to make this documentary, they are many risks … if you’re scared of dying, go home” 

Author: Imad Baazizi

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