Being a social innovation speaker and an ocean activist, I couldn’t wait to see Seaspiracy – the controversial Oceans documentary on Netflix. Seaspiracy is not only exposing the global fishing industry and slavery in the seafood industry.
The documentary premiered on Netflix on 24 March 2021. The thought-provoking film also uncovers part of the Ocean’s political problems, doubtful NGOs, and alarming global corruption.
Since the release, Seaspiracy generated massive buzz and emotional reviews from several sides.
In the film, we also see Dr. Sylvia Earle. I have had the pleasure to share stages and sessions with her several times. For example, during the Ultramarine Ocean Action Summits on Necker Island.
Sylvia Early is the first female chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, and founder of Mission Blue.
Without being a spoiler, I will share my opinion on Seaspiracy here. But before I do, I will share another shocking Ocean threat, not mentioned in Seaspiracy.
In the last part of this story, I will also share my passion for our Oceans and for social innovation.
I would love to read your opinion later. Your feedback matters!
Not In Seaspiracy: In 2020, We Dumped 1.5 Billion Face Masks Into Our Oceans
Facts that don’t come from the Seaspiracy film, but from my ocean activist network? In 2020, we dumped 1.5 billion face masks into our oceans! On top of the dramatic existing plastic soup. Let that ‘sink in’ for a moment.
The horrific numbers come from this recent report released by OceanAsia.
Out of the estimated 52 billion Covid-19 face masks produced in 2020, we dumped 1.5 billion into our oceans. Why it infuriates me?
Will we people ever learn? The oceans are the lungs of our planet and our entire ecosystem. Even more vital than the majestic Amazon Rainforest.
The report estimates that the 1.5 billion masks will add 4,680 to 6,240 metric tonnes of marine plastic pollution. This plastic will be breaking up into smaller pieces of microplastic.
It will take our Oceans around 450 years to break them down. It will negatively impact our marine wildlife and our ocean ecosystems once again.
The masks are also an attack on our coastline and beautiful beaches. Are we seriously using masks that don’t protect our lungs against a virus, to damage the lungs of our planet?
Why don’t we produce reusable face masks? We could have foreseen this mess. Let me rephrase that. Because several powerful ocean communities warned WHO, UN, and WEF for this to happen. They wouldn’t listen.
I thought this was strategic foresight and contextual intelligence worth sharing with you. It also brings an extra sense of urgency to watching Seaspiracy.
Seaspiracy: What’s The Buzz & Anger About? It Uncovers Alarming Global Corruption!
Seaspiracy is a 2021 documentary about the impact of fishing on marine wildlife directed by Ali Tabrizi, a British filmmaker. You can watch the official Netflix trailer here:
The film investigates the effects of plastic marine debris and overfishing worldwide and argues that commercial fisheries are the primary driver of marine ecosystem destruction.
As a futurist, social innovator, and ocean activist, I can assure you that most of the facts and essentials in the Seaspiracy film are painful but true. Some things are even worse than the film shows.
How do I know? I have funded a few projects and films on similar topics, and the producers are hiding because they fear for their lives. It’s very risky to blow the covers of the multi-billions of dollars the corporate and the real Mafia are making from our oceans.
I’m not only talking about overfishing but also large-scale deep-sea mining projects.
Many people have asked me: Have you seen Seaspiracy yet? How would you describe it? My answer?
Seaspiracy uncovers part of the political problems, doubtful NGOs, EU lobbyists, and alarming global corruption.
The film does a great job of exposing corruption and conflict of interests in marine conservation groups and hollow political efforts toward conservation.
The film also touches upon illegal fishing practices, slavery, and other grotesque events and actions taken by humanity, destroying marine life and broader ecosystems.
Something not mentioned in the film is that this corruption and conflict of interest even seeps into the scientific sphere because research requires funding that often comes from oil and fisheries.
But beyond emotions, I have the ratio and data to complete my informed-decision making. And I know you do too. It’s easy to do the math yourself.
What if 7 billion people would all eat 1 fish, for 3 days per week? That would add up to 21 billion fishes per week. Now multiply 21 billion by 52 weeks per year. Does the total number fit into your Casio or Calculator App?
The same formula applies to livestock, aka meat. We should reduce livestock emissions. Livestock also needs 10x more land, and that means… massive deforestation.
The point I’m trying to make? You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to grasp the core of the messaging. We should eat less meat and fish.
8 Facts About Our Oceans That Will Shock You. Seaspiracy Claims Social Media
During our research, we admired the social media style of team Seaspiracy. We bumped into this Instagram post by Seaspiracy. I summarized it for you below:
8 Facts about our ocean that will shock you:
- 90% Of the world’s large fish have been wiped out by fishing.
- Slavery in the seafood industry is reported in 47 countries.
- Governments give $35 billion to the fishing industry every year to continue plundering our seas.
- 250,000 Sea turtles are captured, injured, or killed by the fishing industry every year in the US.
- 46% Of the Great Pacific garbage patch is comprised of fishing nets.
- 300,000 Dolphins, whales, and porpoises are killed in fishing nets every year, along with 30,000 sharks per hour.
- Enough fishing line is set every day to wrap around the Earth 500x.
- Over 3.9 billion acres of seafloor is deforested every year by trawling.
The feedback on Seaspiracy is laudatory and emotional. People love or hate this film.
Most of the angry feedback comes from greedy people who ‘suffer’ from a money over ethics syndrome. They are trying to avoid the core of Seaspiracy’s message. The movie opened our eyes! Shock therapy.
Of course, some criticasters also claim conspiratorial thinking. These people don’t want solutions. Not everybody starts with WHY. Not everyone has a purpose or a True North Star. A mission. A cause.
I’m convinced you can find more reviews.
Please do make up your own mind.
My Passion For Oceans And Human-Inspired Social Innovation
I love islands, beaches, the Caribbean, kiting, watersports, and our oceans. It’s been part of my happy habitat since I was a boy. I found my tribe at Ultramarine Ocean and Ocean Unite.
Great things can happen when ocean impact investors, ocean entrepreneurs, policymakers & researchers, and artists & storytellers unite. See them in action in this 60-second trailer from the UltraMarine Ocean Action Summit at Necker Island.
So far, the community has successfully achieved:
- Developed a global support campaign for #antartica2020
- Influence the Caribbean to form a pledge based on the Paula Pledge, the first being the British Virgin Islands.
- Created a global youth campaign for protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030.
Love30x30 is a partnership with governments and countries to preserve 30% of our oceans by 2030. A very tangible ROI for social innovators, social entrepreneurs, and sustainability investors and VCs.
As a social innovator, I like to connect the dits. Apply exponential technologies to create a cleaner, brighter, fairer world fast.
I created a triple play partnership called: The Skies Will Protect our Oceans and mother Earth.
How does it work? Well, sci-fi is becoming reality now. We have seen “Math Men” flying back2back with NASA. We can still honor Neil Armstrong. But how about Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, and Marshmellow fellow Elon Musk?
So my moonshot mindset? Don’t tell me it’s impossible when I see footsteps on the moon. For our Triple Play project, we connected to our extended global network.
One year later, Satellites (our skies) were monitoring: Coral Reefs, Overfishing (our oceans), and deforestation (our Planet). What I’ve learned? Eyes in the sky can protect what we love and need to protect.
As a sci-fi, space-loving kid, I always dreamed about the future. When I grew up, the curiosity and fascination stayed. With a lot of imagination and a limitless mind, I started to discover new possibilities.
Like open data aka access to satellite data and Earth imaginary. New partnerships could help policymakers, journalists, futurists, and scientists use satellite images and data to serve humanity.
To spark people’s imagination, I wrote this story about it Big Tech Billionaires Are Moving Into Space: Satellites For Humanity. So in my line of work, it’s easy to find like-minded peers. I meet them in speaking line-ups.
The sky is indeed the limit for the non-linear and limitless minds among us. Look at Elon Musk and SpaceX. There’s one mission and one mission only: Mission Possible.
I recently delivered this talk for TEDx called Imagination Sparks Social Innovation.
As one of the first-ever VR avatars for TEDx. You can see my avatar delivering my talk in this video. And indeed, my arms seem pretty long:
It’s fair to say that I am a techno-optimist. However, I’m also a realist and voice of reason.
In all my talks, shows, podcasts, stories, and media features, my statement to world leaders is:
Technology can empower or control humanity.
Technology in the right hands is imperative. Powerful technologies come with great responsibilities.
I also warn that we should be aware of Technocratic Totalitarianism. Too many regimes out there are already using biometric surveillance programs and social credit systems.
Humanity needs to make crucial choices now. We need a global set of ethics, morals, and values for the future. With so many religions, cultures, and ideas? Not so easy to turn into a collaborative ecosystem.
Another believer in social innovation? Boyan Slat, founder of TheOceanCleanup. Slat is dedicated to making our oceans plastic-free by 2040.
Can you imagine? What would happen if we could find and fund 10 more Boyans? Our oceans could be plastic-free by 2030!
That’s why I love to work with social innovators and social entrepreneurs. They walk the talk. They get shit done. I really love that.
It’s just an example out of many ideas we have. I also speak to many VC networks. I help them to create and calculate the ROI of social innovation.
Because the VC ecosystem can make a huge difference when it comes to social entrepreneurship and social enterprises. VCs can play a significant role!
From the 5 exits that I have made, I invested a large chunk of the money in 24 social enterprises. Their ROI? People. Planet. Profit.
So you can say I’m a misfit on a mission. I believe in Human-Inspired Social Innovation.
Seaspiracy is indeed a very controversial documentary. Netflix keeps surprising us. I applaud their mindset and culture.
The feedback that the docu might twist or bend some facts? I could agree that the makers are not 100% objective.
Having said that? Seaspiracy left out the 1.5 billion dumped face masks. It also left out large-scale deep-sea mining projects.
Most sustainable fishing labels/certificates are a hoax but making brands billions per year in licensing fees? Scope those labels, be transparent and honest to consumers. Don’t lie to us.
Similar to how we have been treating livestock for over decades now. Often, in such disgusting ways, that they could cause new global pandemics or endemics.
So, facts are not at stake here. Our ethics, morals, value, and future are! This is about mindset, culture, DNA, and next generations.
But you are wise enough to make up your mind. Just watch the film.
I would love to read your ideas and feedback in the comments below.
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About the Author
In the spotlights, Igor Beuker is a professional public speaker and futurist known for his foresight on trends and technologies that impact business, economy, and society. Behind the scenes, a social entrepreneur with 5 exits and angel investments in 24 social startups, an award-winning marketing strategist for brands like Amazon, L’Oréal, Nike, and Unilever, and a seer for Fortune 500s, organizations, foundations, and governments.