Question Comments on Netflix Seaspiracy Docu ?

Aug 15, 2020
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What originally started out as a look into whaling and dolphin deaths turned into an exposure of how the industrial fishing industry causes huge damage to the sea and to mans future

A very interesting and thoughtful look at how no one is really talking about the damage being done to the seas, how humanity is suffering hugely and will suffer even more in the years ahead as a result of the destruction caused.

Clearly the documentary is controversial but no one seems to really dispute the more basic facts set out below or on the docu web site.

Around 50% of plastic waste in certain parts of the sea comes from fishing nets etc and around 70% of macro (20cm or greater in size) of all plastic in the sea comes fishing sources

It is also of note that much of the money used to fund the sea cleanup plastics campaign comes from the fishing industry via fees paid to charities for certification of fishing activities.

The docu explains the conflicts and sets out evidence including from people who worked for these charities of the conflicts.

It is clearly set out that there is no way to police sustainable fishing and that most fish big fish populations such as cod have fallen below critical levels with 90% or more of these fish stocks having been destroyed by over fishing

Below is a link to the video trailer

View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DCnLWUSaz9o

If some of what is set out is even only partly true its very serious

To show whats covered up or not discussed in the main stream press or wild life charities the doc sets out

1. 46% of all plastic waste in the sea in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is about the size of France or 2x Texas is old fishing nets and equipment - total weight about 80,000 tons

Plastic straws make up about 0.03% of all plastic waste in the sea but seem to get much or most of the plastics publicity

The same sort of ratios go for deaths of turtles caused by death from plastics versus turtle deaths from fishing activity


Looking into this more research indicates about 80% of all plastics in the sea comes from about 10 river sources mostly in asia and about 20% of plastic - around 30 million tons of plastic - comes from fishing nets and other marine sources


2. damage from fishing nets of seaweed and grasses could be much more damaging global warming wise than land based CO2 emissions and rainforest destruction - however that does not mean its ok to destroy forests.

3. $35 billion a year is paid in fishing subsidies - $30 billion a year is needed to eradicate hunger

4. THE OCEANS ABSORB 4x THE AMOUNT OF CO2 THAN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST

5. 70% OF MACRO PLASTIC AT SEA COMES FROM FISHING GEAR. Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear accounts for 70 percent of macro plastics in the ocean by weight.

6. THERE IS OVER 150 MILLION TONS OF PLASTIC
ALREADY FLOATING IN THE SEA. Every year approximately 8 million tons of plastic enter into the ocean

7. UP TO 85% OF THE WORLDS OXYGEN
COMES FROM PHYTOPLANKTON

8. Coral reefs and phytoplankton are being destroyed by the destruction of sharks, tuna and fish which provide the waste fertilizer both coral and phytoplankton need to live

9. It was suggested that fish etc moving through the water layers have a greater effect in circulating warm water from the seas surface to colder depths and so effecting sea temperatures and global warming than all the waves, currents, tides and other such factors

10. Many fisheries are not well run or have proper records reported and in around 18 known cases fishing inspection agents posted to industrial fishing boats have disappeared while at sea and in one case a agent was assassinated on land after reporting illegal fishing

11. The true scale of industrial fishing danage is unknown but one well run ICELAND FISHERY IN ONE MONTH KILLED APPROX. 269 HARBOR PORPOISES, 900 SEALS OF FOUR DIFFERENT SPECIES
AND 5000 SEABIRDS


THE ICELAND FISHERY WAS AWARDED THE BLUE TICK BY THE MSC which provides consumers with certification that fisheries are assessed by independent scientific teams against the MSC standard and its three core principles: maintaining a sustainable level of fish stocks, minimizing environmental impact and effective fishery management



What critics of the Netflix docu seem to focus on is to try to indirectly discredit the info by saying its info is misleading - they say for example to suggest people consider giving up sea food is not possible as many low income human populations depend on fish and seafood as a key or main food source so cannot stop eating it.

It was never suggested in the docu that low income populations stop eating seafood what is targeted as causing critical damage is the industrial fishing and sea food farming and so it is high income populations who eat or use this seafood who should consider stopping or reducing seafood consumption .

In fact the docu suggested industrial fishing has resulted in low income populations up to 1000 miles inland suffering and that industrial fishing may have caused people in Africa to seek bush meat to replace fish and so been partly responsible for greater human contact with sources of ebola infection and retro viruses etc

Harvard health official Bernstein said

industrial overfishing has led rural coastal communities to more aggressively harvest potentially virus-laden animals in jungle interiors.

“We have evidence that people who have had their fish stocks depleted, through industrial fishing of the oceans, they are being exposed to retroviruses like HIV on an ongoing basis as they eat bush meat,” he said.


Conversely, sustainable fishing practices that pay attention to local food security needs will reduce the risk of contact to zoonosis (i.e. hotspots for infectious disease) such as Ebola virus.


What is suggested is that ocean damage done by industrial fishing could be one of if not the biggest issue humanity faces in ensuring we can continue to live on earth.

The founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society states in the documentary: "If you want to address climate change, the first thing you do is protect the ocean, and the solution to that is very simple, leave it alone."

The amount of CO2 captured by sea plant life far outweighs anything by trees on land yet nothing is said of the destruction

Heavy fishing nets crawling along the bottom of the ocean floor capable of holding 13 jumbo jets .......are said .... to kill 3.9 billion acres of the seabed every year, the equivalent to 4,316 football pitches a minute.


In 2019, the tropics lost close to 30 soccerfields' worth of trees every single minute.


While seagrasses occupy only 0.1 percent of the total ocean floor, they are estimated to be responsible for up to 11 percent of the organic carbon buried in the ocean.

Kelp and sea grasses grow at depths up to about 50 meters below the sea surface but some may grow at greater depths of up to 90 meters

Seagrasses play a large role in regulating ocean environments, storing more than twice as much carbon from planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) per square mile as forests do on land, according to a 2012 study in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Saltwater plants like mangroves and seagrasses have been well-known dynamos when it comes to storing carbon. Per acre, these “blue carbon” ecosystems can take up to 20 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than land-based forests. The secret to their carbon-storing success lies not in the plants, but in the rich muck they grow in. As marine plants grow and die, their leaves, roots, stems and branches wind up buried in underwater sediments. These low-oxygen sediments can store carbon for decades or longer.



Around 7% of seagrass meadows were being destroyed annually a 2009 report set out. So all this has been known for a long time

Billed as the first comprehensive global assessment of seagrass losses, the study found 58 percent of seagrass meadows are declining and the rate of annual loss has accelerated from about 1 percent per year before 1940 to 7 percent per year since 1990.

Published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study, based on more than 200 surveys and 1,800 observations dating back to 1879, found that seagrasses are disappearing at rates similar to coral reefs and tropical rainforests.


Environmentalist George Monbiot said in the documentary: "It’s a fishing industry that is destroying the fish and the rest of the lives of the sea".

With less than 1% of the ocean being protected from fishing, researchers say it should actually be at around 30% protected.

 
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Aug 15, 2020
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The dangers of plastics was known about in the 1970s and discussed as far back as the 1950s

Though contemporary plastic pollution scientists say they are aware of these past studies and their significance, they claim the public is not — due to insufficient news coverage of the issue and industry campaigns designed to keep them in the dark.

“Industry has aggressively defended themselves, manipulating public perception, and attacking scientists perceived as a threat,” Eriksen says.

A scientist named Edward J. Carpenter, who now works as a professor at San Francisco State University, became the first to publish warnings about what would eventually be known as “microplastics.”

While posted as a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Carpenter published two landmark 1972 papers describing “plastic particles” in the Sargasso Sea and plastic spheres used for plastic production (called nurdles) that had absorbed PCBs in waters off Southern New England and were found inside several fish caught there.

It took more than a decade after publication of the papers by Carpenter and other early researchers before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States’ main ocean science agency, convened the world’s top marine scientists to discuss plastic pollution.

“For both papers in Science the Society of the Plastics Industry sent a representative (twice) to Woods Hole, basically to intimidate me,” claims Carpenter, the early plastics researcher. “I was not given tenure at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and I think the plastic papers hurt my career there.”

That trade group is now known as the Plastics Industry Association. When reached for comment, it refused to confirm or deny Carpenter’s claims.
But it’s well known that certain industries have covered up the link between tobacco use and cancer, and fossil fuel use and climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “Disinformation Playbook,” corporations have followed a specific pattern when attempting to block legislation and minimize their liability for problems created by their products.

One major concern is toxins, which plastic can both absorb and leach out. While this issue has gotten significant amounts of media coverage in the past few years, some of the earliest plastic pollution researchers supposed that if ingested in small amounts, “consumed particles of plastic could release sufficient amounts of PCB’s to affect seabirds,” as Stephen I. Rothstein wrote in a 1973 paper on marine plastic pollution.






Bo Eide, public domain
Plastic Pollution: Could We Have Solved the Problem Nearly 50 Years Ago?
What if we’d listened to the researchers who first warned us about plastic pollution in the 1970s?
Investigations
March 26, 2019 - by Erica Cirino


Wild, Incisive, Fearless.





There’s plastic in seabirds, in the middle of the remote Pacific Ocean, even in people. It’s a challenge to turn to the news these days without reading or hearing the latest horror story about plastic pollution. These updates seem new and striking and scary, but in reality much of the fundamental information contained in these stories is actually far from fresh.
“In the last five years there has been more published research on plastics than in the previous 50 years,” says Marcus Eriksen, 5 Gyres Institute cofounder and research director, who’s a well-known contemporary documentarian of microplastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and other parts of the oceans. “In the past the public did not get adequate information, or the right information, early enough to act.”
The Revelator took a deep dive into reams of historic plastic pollution research and uncovered that much of what’s considered “new” today has actually been known by scientists for decades but was not well publicized in the popular media until recently.
That delay in spreading the news about the threats of plastic came with a major cost. In the time since scientific research on plastic pollution was first published in the early 1970s, billions of metric tons of plastic waste has been tossed in landfills and accumulated in terrestrial and marine ecosystems — and in the bodies of countless people and animals.
That scientists knew plastic pollution was a growing problem back in the Seventies begs two essential questions: What would the world be like if we had listened to early researchers much earlier? And what prevented us from listening?
Initial Findings
The earliest peer-reviewed research on plastic pollution in the oceans was based in observation of how the materials were behaving in the environment.
One paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Studiesin 1972, identified the phenomenon of plastic consumer packaging washing up on isolated shorelines as an ecological concern. Written by University of Aston chemist Gerald Scott, the paper discussed the problematically slow biodegradation speed of plastic in the marine environment and outlined a “need for the acceleration of this process” to prevent further ecological harm.
That same year a scientist named Edward J. Carpenter, who now works as a professor at San Francisco State University, became the first to publish warnings about what would eventually be known as “microplastics.” While posted as a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Carpenter published two landmark 1972 papers describing “plastic particles” in the Sargasso Sea and plastic spheres used for plastic production (called nurdles) that had absorbed PCBs in waters off Southern New England and were found inside several fish caught there.
The decades following Carpenter’s initial work saw the publication of just a few dozen papers on marine plastic pollution. In fact, from the time Carpenter announced finding small plastic particles in the oceans, it took more than three decades for the scientific term “microplastic” to be published in major international publications. Today publication of these papers is much more frequent. A search of Google Scholar found 771 papers containing the words “microplastic” or “microplastics” published in 2018 alone.
Although plastic pollution wasn’t making news headlines decades ago, the research didcontinue, with several important early findings made. This includes the 1973 discovery of small plastic particles accumulating in the bodies of seabirds(today we know more than 90 percent of all seabirds have eaten plastic at some point in their lives) and the identification of large quantities of plastic floating on the Pacific Ocean between California and Japan (where we now know the Great Pacific Garbage Patch lies).
Plastic bird stomach
Plastic found in one dead seabird’s stomach. Photo: Carol Meteyer, USGS
Early research suggests that scientists knew from the start that the biggest issue with plastic is that it never decomposes. It only breaks up into tiny pieces that can be ingested by marine wildlife and humans, with unclear — but almost certainly negative — consequences.
One major concern is toxins, which plastic can both absorb and leach out. While this issue has gotten significant amounts of media coverage in the past few years, some of the earliest plastic pollution researchers supposed that if ingested in small amounts, “consumed particles of plastic could release sufficient amounts of PCB’s to affect seabirds,” as Stephen I. Rothstein wrote in a 1973 paper on marine plastic pollution.
It took more than a decade after publication of the papers by Carpenter and other early researchers before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States’ main ocean science agency, convened the world’s top marine scientists to discuss plastic pollution. In 1984 the agency hosted the First International Conference on Marine Debris. As former NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center deputy director Jim Coe later recalled, the goal of the conference was to discuss whether or not marine debris, specifically lost and abandoned fishing gear, “was a problem worth people’s attention.”
They quickly agreed that it was. Scientists at the conference concluded that plastic was accumulating in the natural environment and called for more research to better understand what seemed to be a growing problem. They also made the earliest call for legal action to prevent pollution from ships, which prompted Congress to fund an early version of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program called the Marine Entanglement and Research Program — which had a responsibility of facilitating research, publicizing data and minimizing the problem.
Plastic Industry Influence
During the early 1980s, plastic manufacturers continued to sell consumers on the utility of their products, specifically plastic bags, without publicly acknowledging that the materials were harming the environment. In fact, they tried to show the opposite by pushing ideas about plastic’s abilities to be reused and recycled.
“Plastic bags can be reused in more than 17 different ways, including as a wrap for frozen foods, a jogger’s wind breaker or a beach bag,” the industry-backed Plastic Grocery Sack Council told the Los Angeles Times in 1986. A New York Times story published a few years prior lightly debates whether or not consumers would prefer using plastic bags to paper, given the industry’s push to get them into grocery stores around the world — without mentioning any of the environmental consequences.
Plastic bag
Photo: John Platt (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
But the real push for plastic started even earlier. Plastics-history expert Rebecca Altmanrecalls how a 1950s packaging magazine editor told industry insiders that “The future of plastics is in the trash can.” Altman, who has deeply explored the human connection to plastic, says that the world had to be conditioned to carelessly consume. Prior to that time, “it was not in the culture to use something once and throw it away.” Today the items most commonly found in nature are so-called “single-use” plastics.
Promoting public narratives about litter to focus on recycling as a solution has, for a long time, “been a way to deflect attention and responsibility for product design away from industry, and has been very effective,” says Eriksen.
Despite this focus on recycling, recent research finds just 9 percent of plastics ever made have been recycled, and the large majority has either ended up in landfills or the natural environment.
A Plastic Cover-up?
Though contemporary plastic pollution scientists say they are aware of these past studies and their significance, they claim the public is not — due to insufficient news coverage of the issue and industry campaigns designed to keep them in the dark.
“Industry has aggressively defended themselves, manipulating public perception, and attacking scientists perceived as a threat,” Eriksen says.
“For both papers in Science the Society of the Plastics Industry sent a representative (twice) to Woods Hole, basically to intimidate me,” claims Carpenter, the early plastics researcher. “I was not given tenure at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and I think the plastic papers hurt my career there.”
That trade group is now known as the Plastics Industry Association. When reached for comment, it refused to confirm or deny Carpenter’s claims.
But it’s well known that certain industries have covered up the link between tobacco use and cancer, and fossil fuel use and climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “Disinformation Playbook,” corporations have followed a specific pattern when attempting to block legislation and minimize their liability for problems created by their products. The plastics industry appears to have followed the same predictable plays as other deceptive businesses: blitzing scientists who speak out with “inconvenient” results or views, diverting attention from scientific recommendations (to cut plastic use), and making strong attempts to block unfavorable policies (banning or restricting plastic use), among other strategies.
Besides industry silencing of research and shaping consumers’ mindsets around waste, Altman suggests the media also played a part in the issue of global plastic pollution first being overlooked and then finally coming to the fore of global consciousness. It’s a combination of plastic pollution worsening and the nature of media changing over time, Altman says. Today social platforms have the ability for anyone, anywhere, to share what has been ignored long enough to become an enormous and visually compelling story. Just think of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and all the media attention that’s gotten in the past decade, she says.
“Culturally we focus on environmental problems of a spectacular nature, the kind of havoc that happens in a bewildering instant,” she says. “It’s hard to see the slow-moving disasters or tragedies that happen over time — the drip, drip, drip — until it’s of a disastrous proportion.”
Carpenter agrees, emphasizing the gap between the scientific discovery of plastic pollution in the oceans and publicity about the problem. “I believe that the Captain Moore TED Talk on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, plus Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres, plus a video on dying albatrosses at Midway Island, plus the graphic video of the sea turtle with the plastic straw up its nose began to finally wake up the public,” he says.
What’s the Solution?
Nonprofits like 5 Gyres are now pushing an agenda toward public awareness, corporate responsibility and the idea of a circular economy — an economy that focuses on keeping waste to a minimum while maximizing materials’ use. NGOs’ activism has also kick-started a spurt of municipal and national policies aimed at reducing use of plastic items worldwide in a bid to cut pollution. If people won’t stop using plastic items on their own accord, recent research suggests rules limiting their use of plastic items by charging a fee for its use or banning it outright is the best way to get them to stop.
The plastics industry has actively fought such legislation, and despite the publication of research calling for a reduction in plastic use it continues to sell its products while pushing recycling as the best method to reduce waste and litter. In one recent example, major beverage corporations led by the Coca-Cola Company sent a letter of opposition last year to the European Commission following the EU’s proposal to require that plastic bottles have tethered caps. Traditional bottle caps are commonly lost in the marine environment because they so easily separate from bottles. In the letter the corporations cite the efficacy of deposit return schemes and recycling in reducing plastic litter. They proposed increased efforts to “reinforce and incentivize [the] right consumer behaviors” in lieu of changing their product designs. Coca-Cola recently revealed that it produces 3 million metric tons of plastic packaging every year.
When asked about the issue of plastic pollution and how to best address it, the Plastics Industry Association sent a statement to The Revelator saying the association “believes uncollected plastics do not belong in the natural environment and that is why we partner with other associations, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental authorities to coordinate efforts to strengthen recovery systems around the globe to prevent the loss of any plastics into the environment. Our members understand that our industry needs to be a part of the solution. We encourage education and call for the enhancement of our recycling infrastructure in order to encourage new end markets for plastics.”
But experts say product redesigns and infrastructure don’t solve the problem. “Ocean plastics are a symptom of poor upstream waste management, poor product design, as well as consumer littering behavior,” Eriksen says. “It’s a perpetuation of old narratives, where pollution is caused by consumers. Regulation of products and packaging must be fought for intensively.”
The quick solution to the problem: Use less plastic.
As Carpenter pointed out nearly five decades ago, the more plastic we make and use, the more will end up in the natural environment. As he wrote in 1972: “Increasing production of plastics, combined with present waste-disposal practices, will undoubtedly lead to increases in the concentration of these particles.”
That’s a message we should have listened to decades ago, which still needs to be heard today.
“The public did not get adequate information, or the right information, early enough to act,” says Eriksen. “Industry has been very effective at controlling the public narrative, but today they cannot control things the way they did in the past. Social media and mass communications have allowed people to organize.” And that’s starting to make a difference
 

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