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Environmentalists criticise Netflix fishing doco for inaccuracies and misinformation



PHOTO: Alex Berger / Flickr

As Thailand accuses a Netflix documentary of using outdated and inaccurate information about the country’s fishing industry, a number of global environmental experts are echoing similar criticisms. According to a report in Coconuts, Seaspiracy has been slammed for being full of inaccuracies and twisting the science behind the damage to the world’s oceans, minimising the role of climate change and plastic pollution.

Brian Kahn, a journalist with an MA in Climate and Society, has written a piece called, Don’t Watch Netflix’s Seaspiracy, in which he also accuses the documentary of resorting to racial stereotypes.

“The bad guys are Asians, specifically Japanese whale and dolphin hunters and Chinese consumers of shark fin soup. The good guys – in this case, the experts he cites – are mostly white.”

According to the Coconuts report, the Marine Stewardship Council in London agrees the documentary contains “several inaccuracies” and the Plastic Pollution Coalition says the makers have “cherry-picked” quotes that will fit with their narrative. Marine biology magazine, Hakai, has also weighed in on the matter.

“Though the film misleads viewers with oversimplified science, its real harm is that it ignores the history, culture, and systemic inequities that are entwined with ocean conservation.”

Seaspiracy had its global release last month and has become one of the top 10 most-watched offerings on the Netflix streaming service. Opinion is divided, with many praising British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi for highlighting the issues with the global fishing industry, while others have slammed it for being biased and scientifically inaccurate.

The Royal Thai Navy has also criticised its portrayal of the country’s fishing industry, claiming it’s based on outdated information. In 2015, reporter Thapanee Eadsrichai exposed the significant role human trafficking and slavery played in the industry. This led to a crackdown of sorts, although slavery is still suspected of playing a role, on a smaller scale. The EU then threatened to ban all Thai seafood when the Kingdom’s illegal fishing practices came to light, but backed down when Thailand took steps to rectify the situation.

SOURCE: Coconuts


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  1. Ian Jones

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 10:13 am

    If cause, the truth hurts, especially if you loose your face.

  2. Slugger

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:15 am

    More American lies. Why does everybody swallow what the Americans say?

  3. Jonh

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Maybe they need a fine, like few months ago a hotel put also almost jail for one guy crític in TripAdvisor for a bad experience in that hotel… Now the only way is to say that the film dont watch because is racist…. If they continúe like that many tourist are gona think 2 times to fly thailand watching this autority acts in the land of the smiles…

  4. TruthTeller

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    @ Slugger

    The filmmaker is British.

    Once again, you need to look beyond the tip of your nose to find the truth.

  5. toby andrews

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Did not a Phuket expat report on this very forum last week that Thais were fishing illegally off the shore of Phuket?
    The EU stated they would boycott Thai seafood a few years ago, because the Thais were using slave labour.
    The Thais stopped. That is the only way to stop Thais scum from doing this nastiness.
    I believe every word of this report.
    Thais have always been this way and they always will, until the West state, we are not buying from you.

  6. Franck Webb

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I looked at the Documentary, and yes I get the message. The report is however Biased and by the end of the Film all I felt mostly Was that the messenger is most likely a Vegetarian and seems to be more advocating that we should STOP eating Seafood just like Vegetarians advocate that everyone should stop Farming and eating Meat. It had less to do with Protecting the Ocean Environment but more about Vegetarians using a Platform to indoctranate the Masses i.e the (Younger Generation) to become like them.

  7. Rick Brunson

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 9:03 am

    My wife and I watched the first episode and were deeply disappointed.The series depicts tuna fishing as an illegal and clandestine activity, which it is not when following international guidelines. Our impression is the series stoey line is based on progressive / woke narrative.

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