Question from Pierre on June 7th.
Your question relates to the correctness of the information and figures presented in the Netflix documentary Naval conspiracy Rely heavily on industrial fishing, released in March. Director Ali Tabrizi paints a particularly bleak picture of the state of our fishery resources and does not hesitate to accuse environmental protection associations as well as governments. Thriller films seek to convince the viewer to harm – at times – the scientific method. While much of the data presented is true, some of it is false or outdated.
Conspiracy It intends to warn of the dangers of fishing activity, from environmental consequences, such as the state of the sea floor being swept away by trawl nets, to consequences for humans. And so we learn, in one of the film’s most exciting clips, that many Thai shrimp fishing boats employ foreign immigrants in their work, even if it means turning them into real slaves. The documentary also reviews, with supporting figures, the problems of bycatch (10,000 dolphins are found on the French coasts each year according to the Main l’Observatoire), salmon aquaculture in Scotland (More than 30% of specimens die before they are caught) or worry about labels that are too loose.
However, many voices among scholars have opposed Conspiracy. With its propaganda vision and fictional characters, the documentary has had the rare result of bringing together pro-fishing and conservation scientists, sums it up News Joachim Claudette is a researcher specializing in the impact of human activities on the ocean at the National Center for Scientific Research. Like Ray Heilburn and Danielle Polley, two figureheads of each of these currents. To see more clearly, News It reviews the documentary’s most problematic claims. At our request, neither the director nor the producer of the film responded.
There will be no more fish in the oceans by 2048
Conspiracy Refers to a study conducted by Boris Worm and published in 2006 in the journal Science. Other than that, as indicated TeleramaAnd the It was a projection if uncontrolled poaching continued, and this was not necessarily the case. “Most of the data are numbers that are catastrophic for testing different scenarios, and are meaningless if taken out of context”, Joachim Claudette confirms. Three years later, in 2009, Worm returned to his own predictions and published a text he had already noticed Individual stock replenishment of fish. Study 2020 It points in the same direction, indicating that the vast majority of species are experiencing an increase in their numbers due to the tightening of restrictions.
Every year, 40% of the fish caught in the world are caught
From turtles to dolphins to sea otters, endangered animals are sometimes accidentally caught in sailors’ nets before being rejected, often in poor condition. If the documentary gives the figure 40%, they actually estimate 10%, according to a 2017 study. “The vast majority of rejections […] Implemented by industrial fisheries […], while artisanal fisheries have contributed little to global discards.” This article outlines the University of British Columbia research group. The 40% that was highlighted in the documentary relates to the work of many union activists, who have included in their accounts by-catch and catches that were conducted in an unsustainable manner, by using an illegal net for example or by violating quotas. Out. However, the calculation is consistent with reality because rejected specimens do not necessarily survive their captivity.
38% of the world’s mangrove forests have been destroyed by shrimp farming
Director, voice of journalist and environmental activist George Monbiot confirms that 38% of the coastal marshes (mangroves) in 120 countries have been destroyed due to shrimp farming. reference work العمل Which is likely the source of monbiot, giving a figure of 35% of lost mangroves (38% corresponding to the US alone). Moreover, if this study points the finger at the responsibility of shrimp farming for the destruction of mangrove forests – “Shrimp farming is by far the main reason” We can read – as the weight of other types of agriculture lists in this disaster: fish and shrimp farms together are half responsible for the loss of these natural habitats (52%). Finally, in general, this data has been dated since it was recorded…before 2000.
Hammerhead sharks are on the verge of extinction
An alarming graph indicating the near-complete disappearance of four shark species since 1970 also raises questions. The graph, whose source is not mentioned, contradicts figures from a January 2021 study published in the very serious British scientific journal. natureAnd the Reference on the topic. If the latter indicates the collapse of 71% of the overall shark population since 1970 due to intensified industrial fishing, this is not the case for the common hammerhead shark, for example. (smooth hammer), Which is an exception. When the documentary claims that its population has declined by 86% since 1970, nature It is estimated that their number on the contrary has increased … by 29%. According to the same study, the scalloped hammerhead shark (scalloped hammer head) It’s decreased significantly, around 77%, but not as much as reported by the documentary, which indicates a 99% drop.
Fishing waste accounts for 46% of the North Pacific garbage gyre
Journalist George Monbiot asserts that waste from fishing (especially nets and floats) represents “More than 46% of plastic is floating in the North Pacific Gyro”, With an area of 1.6 million square kilometres. This ratio is there. It is the result of the largest study on the subject, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, (GPGP, another name for whirlpool) dates back to 2018, indicating that fishing nets represent 46% of the GPGP mass.
If true, this number is worth bearing in mind. Actually, Conspiracy The presence of microplastics in a vortex is not mentioned, it is much lighter but more numerous in terms of floating debris (94% of the pieces observed on the surface), such as straws and bags. Some of them stagnate on the surface, others disintegrate and fall to the ocean floor, where they become especially dangerous for marine life.
250,000 turtles are killed every year in the United States
On this topic, the 250,000th documentary film, which was proposed by researchers in 2004, is used. While it could be used Created by the same professionals in 2011 : Thanks to the implementation of strict regulations, the number of animals killed has decreased, according to minimum estimates, to 4,600. or a decrease of 94%, Even if the researchers realize an exaggerated percentage is certainly due to a lack of observers. A recent study from 2017 concluded that there is an increase “prominent” Population in certain areas since 2010, thanks to a new fishing device: the turtle exclusion device (TED), which releases turtles thanks to a net installed in the narrow part of the trawl.
This article was produced as part of a partnership with the CFPJ for Application Magazine for Promotion 56.