Our response to Netflix's Seaspiracy

Published: 30 March 2021

Last month, Netflix launched Seaspiracy, a documentary about the impacts of fishing on the oceans. The documentary makers have a strong pro-vegan stance, and the documentary is filmed from this perspective. The narrative arch of the documentary is simple and is designed to bring the audience to the conclusion that the only way to save the oceans is to stop eating fish entirely.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has published a response to this, which can be accessed here.


Ray Hilborn and his colleagues at Sustainable Fisheries UW have set up a scientific resource library on their website to combat misinformation and to explain the science of sustainable seafood. In this 3,000-word point-by-point scientific rebuttal to Seaspiracy, they dive into the science and data. Basically, most of the filmmakers' claims come from very old, outdated studies and/or egregious misunderstandings.

Ray Hilborn also shares his thoughts on Seaspiracy in this short video:


Reviews from media in NZ and around the world

China Dialogue Ocean. The data is clear – if you apply science-based fisheries management, the fish can come back.
https://chinadialogueocean.net/17452-seaspiracy-in-the-eyes-of-the-experts/

RNZ Radio New Zealand Fact check on Netflix's Seaspiracy film about fishing damaging oceans (Source: BBC)
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/world/440156/fact-check-on-netflix-s-seaspiracy-film-about-fishing-damaging-oceans

Stuff Skip the documentary Seaspiracy
Stuff science columnist Peter Griffin
https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/300278222/skip-the-documentary-seaspiracy

The Independent Seaspiracy: Marine organisations and experts react to hit Netflix documentary
https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/uknews/seaspiracy-marine-organisations-and-experts-react-to-hit-netflix-documentary/ar-BB1f5CF0

Forbes Seaspiracy: A Call To Action Or A Vehicle Of Misinformation?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/allenelizabeth/2021/04/10/seaspiracy-a-call-to-action-or-a-vehicle-of-misinformation/?sh=6c6f1697c23a

The Guardian Seaspiracy: Netflix documentary accused of misrepresentation by participants
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/31/seaspiracy-netflix-documentary-accused-of-misrepresentation-by-participants

The New York Times ‘Seaspiracy’ Review: Got Any Scandals? Go Fish.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/24/movies/seaspiracy-review.html