Reading Time: 3 minutes 'It's given us a lot of hope and faith to see people are ready for the truth about what it takes to save our oceans' Credit: Netflix UK / Netflix UK
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A US seafood industry body is launching a campaign in response to the discoveries it labels ‘vegan propaganda’ showcased in the upcoming documentary, Seaspiracy – despite the fact the film is yet to be released.

It was revealed in a leaked document sent to Plant Based News.

Protecting the seafood industry

The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is a trade group that represents the US seafood industry, and actively encourages people to eat marine life. Moreover, it claims to be committed to ‘sustainable’ fishing and ‘responsible aquaculture’.

In addition, the NFI says it works to ensure both the media and consumers ‘have the facts about seafood’.

The letter brands the documentary, soon to be screened on Netflix, a ‘dishonest attack’. This is in anticipation of its discoveries and claims it ‘disingenuously’ targets the fishing industry – despite not viewing it.

Seaspiracy branded a ‘dishonest attack’

NFI said: “But hijacking a lifestyle while disingenuously targeting an industry that provides billions of healthy meals and employs 1.7 million Americans is an unacceptable and dishonest attack.”

As a result, the organization is planning retaliation in order to protect the industry, the leaked private document confirms. The media strategy will ‘combat inaccuracies’ and ‘highlight Netflix’s lack of oversight when it comes to the presentation of facts’, it continues.

As a result, it is ‘reaching out’ to restaurant and retail customers in the seafood sector to arm them with ‘friendly talking points’ once the film debuts on March 24.

Letter to Netflix

It goes on to state that the NFI expects Seaspiracy to be an ‘unabashedly vegan activist production’ similar to that of hit Cowspiracy and What The Health?, as Kip Andersen produced all three.

Additionally, the NFI reached out to Netflix, accusing it of promoting ‘propaganda over facts’.

In a letter, it told the streaming service that both Cowspiracy and What The Health? contained a ‘litany of hyperbole’ over fears Seaspiracy will be similar.

The letter voiced grievances to Netflix’s Co-CEO, claiming the documentary is ‘masquerading’ as facts about seafood.

It reads: “The producers of this film are vegan activists… Veganism is a fine choice for some – but my heavens, they do miss out on the complete array of seafood options like enormous King Crab, buttery Maine lobster, succulent Iceland cod, and omega-rich Alaska salmon.”

In a separate press release, the NFI claims it called on Netflix to create a ‘propaganda’ tab on its website for ‘films based on exaggeration, fabrications and conspiracy theories’.

‘Vegan propaganda’

Seaspiracy will also uncover the ‘human cost’ of the fishing industry, its creators claim

Plant Based News approached the NFI to comment. “We consider the film vegan propaganda and we’d like Netflix to start a whole new tab for just this type of content,” the organization said in response.

The NFI claims seafood industry workers’ welfare is ‘vital’.

It added: “Mistreatment of workers at any place in the seafood value chain should be exposed. And regulators, policymakers and law enforcement should engage where needed right away.”

This is despite the Seaspiracy documentary trailer showing snippets of a different picture. One clip includes the quote: ‘When the ships are in the ocean, they can throw you overboard’.

Defending animal agriculture

The NFI alerted the Animal Agriculture Alliance (AAA), an organization that claims to connect a range of figures in the industry, including farmers, and encouraging its members to eat meat.

On its website, it accuses animal rights advocates of ‘misleading consumers’ – in response to undercover footage obtained from farms.

AAA agreed to ‘push back publicly against Seaspiracy‘, the leaked document states.

Seaspiracy trailer

Seaspiracy seeks to uncover ‘alarming global corruption’ and its trailer has already garnered hundreds of thousands of views on social media.

The trailer garnered thousands of views online and promises to uncover the ‘war’ on the ocean

For more information, visit Seaspiracy

The documentary is out on Netflix on March 24

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.