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The ocean could be empty of fish by the year 2048. For those born in the year 2000 like me, there will be no fish by the time we reach 50. That’s right, in just 38 years the sea may be empty and will remain an empty, lifeless void. So, should we stop eating fish?
Too many answer this question in the form of futile resolutions and through participating in the newest, fashionable trend. Wooden straws, reusable containers, paper bags and so many more. Though they “seemingly” mean well, these attempts are pointless and half-arsed. Humans have witnessed the extinction of hundreds of animal species, such as the Sicilian Wolf, Japanese Sea Lions, Siamese Flat-Barbelled Catfish…the list is endless. Each of these animals have one thing in common. Though drastically different in habitats and physical traits, what they all share is us; they were driven to extinction by humans. The human species made the decision to force these animals from the planet, so let’s return to that question: will we stop eating fish now we’re aware of their possible extinction by 2048? Well, I’m not so sure, what may seem such a simple answer is often met with ignorance.
The recent surge in veganism, what some would label a craze or/and a trend, has birthed more and more documentaries aimed at bringing awareness to human agencies. In the case of Ali Tabrizi’s recent documentary, Seaspiracy’s attention is placed on the fishing agency. Tabrizi shines a spotlight on it through use of graphic imagery and rare, plain-spoken truth. Now, will its audience, after accessing such unsettling, inhumane displays of violence vow to never purchase another slice of Tesco’s finest Scottish salmon? Maybe, but the truth is, and always has been, that for any significant change there must be mass cooperation. Do you think that the Sicilian Wolf would have survived extinction if one farmer turned around and spared its life instead of murdering it to protect their cattle? Of course not. If the mass population continues to fund the fishing agency and supermarkets continue to distribute fish, the recent surge in wooden straws, bamboo lunchboxes and wax wrappings won’t have any impact.
Like many others, Tabrizi’s Seaspiracy influenced my decision to change not only my eating habits but also my lifestyle. I became a vegetarian again, something I had given up just a few years back, and I became more aware of my own carbon footprint. However, distressingly these changes won’t account to much if millions of us continue to fund industries such as the fishing agency. See, such changes are crucial for the continuation of not only the fish population, but thousands of animals that rely on fish. Seaspiracy highlights the problematic nature of the fishing agency but, what we should take from it is that it’s not just up to the viewer to bring about change. That change is reliant on the compliance of the majority. Buying a wooden straw or eating one less serving of fish a week just is not enough anymore, it never really was. Sign petitions, highlight human error and ultimately, stop eating the damn fish!