This documentary was made to highlight the devastating effects of poor fisheries management and of pollution on our world's oceans. However, in our opinion, the filmmakers did not take time to review bright spots where fisheries are well-managed (like ours) and where marine life is flourishing.
We concur with the film's producers that high-seas fishing around the world is largely a free-for-all, and should either be legitimately regulated and enforced by universal agreement or banned. When boats are so large that humans cannot even visibly see the fishing gear, and when fishing takes place so far from land that boats cannot be patrolled, we too believe that this is a terrible problem.
However, to assert that because some fisheries are dangerously unregulated, therefore ALL fisheries are similarly destroying our oceans is simply false. We would very much have appreciated if the Seaspiracy producers had taken time to document Alaska's wild salmon fisheries. If they had, they may have been able to share a broader perspective (and have added some hope to their narrative). To us, it was interesting to note that NONE of the fisheries or video clips in the film were within U.S. waters. The American women and men (scientists, biologists, and fishermen) who have been tirelessly working over the past 100 years to promote healthy oceans and maintain sustainable fisheries were categorically ignored.
As of 2021, our Bristol Bay salmon population has never been more abundant and well-managed. We are fortunate to participate in such a model of sustainability where both ecological health thrives and commercial enterprise can be maintained.
The important issue of by-catch is raised in the film--members of our CSF will be pleased to know that we have voluntarily tracked our own by-catch for 20 years. Since we began record-keeping, our by-catch has been 0.015% annually—much less than half of a single percent. Of that number, over 95% are starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus) and we release 90% of those alive, back into the ocean. In regard to discarded plastic fishing gear, we can report that since our boats are so small and since our gear is so short, we simply do not lose track of our gear in this way and have never lost or abandoned our gear. For us, our gear is too valuable to lose!