Oceana Says 'Abstaining From Seafood Is Not A Realistic Choice'- Seaspiracy Directors Respond 'There are hundreds of millions if not billions of people that can make the transition towards a more plant-based diet' - Media Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.

Oceana Says ‘Abstaining From Seafood Is Not A Realistic Choice’- Seaspiracy Directors Respond

'We've got to be really careful not to sort of weaponize poor and vulnerable people who are depending on fish, to justify our own eating habits'


3 Minutes Read

In light of the Netflix hit Seaspiracy, Oceana has claimed ‘abstaining from seafood is not a realistic choice’.

Last month, the ocean conservation organization released an official statement on the film – which is drastically changing people’s perception of the fishing industry. 

PBN exclusively interviewed directors Ali and Lucy Tabrizi…

Oceana’s response to Seaspiracy

“We believe people have the right to choose what they eat, and we applaud those who make personal choices to improve the health of our planet,” Oceana wrote.  

“However, choosing to abstain from consuming seafood is not a realistic choice for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who depend on coastal fisheries. Many of whom are also facing poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.”

“Additionally, we strongly believe that we can be most effective by working together to win policy victories that help to save the oceans and feed the world. Rather than by influencing personal choice.”

Ali and Lucy Tabrizi

In an exclusive interview with Plant Based News, Seaspiracy directors Ali and Lucy Tabrizi respond to Oceana’s claims.

“Oceana, although they’re doing incredible work around the world, their core message is telling people that one of the best things they can do to protect the ocean is to eat sustainable fish,” Ali told PBN founder Klaus Mitchell.

“Their own spokesperson said that there’s no real definition for it, and it’s really hard for consumers to work that out on their end.

 “It just leaves you feeling like, well, there might be something lacking there.”

Seaspiracy directors Ali and Lucy Tabrizi have responded to the film’s criticism…

Ali continued: “They’re saying it’s not realistic for a global population to adopt a plant-based diet because there are people that depend on it. I think [they’re] missing the point.”

“There are hundreds of millions if not billions of people that can make the transition towards a more plant-based diet. 

“And, the people that rely on those fish, the best thing we can do to ensure that they can survive – and that there’s enough fish for them to eat is – for us people who have the privilege to avoid eating it.”

“We’ve got to be really careful not to sort of weaponize poor and vulnerable people who are depending on fish, to justify our own eating habits.”

Lucy Tabrizi, Assistant Director

Lucy added: “I think we’ve got to be really careful not to sort of weaponize poor and vulnerable people who are depending on fish, to justify our own eating habits. [Especially] when we have the privilege to choose not to and to choose something else quite comfortably.

“I think the people that are watching this film on Netflix and are going to these NGOs websites looking for how to eat sustainably… They’re not the people that are relying on this for sustenance, for survival.”

Petition to protect the oceans

Last week, Ali and Lucy launched an online petition to help protect 30 percent of the oceans by 2030.

In just three days, the campaign had garnered more than 100,000 signatures. Now, it is over 200,000.

Following on from Seaspiracy‘s spotlight on the detrimental effects created by industrial fishing, the petition is calling for the creation of more ‘no-catch’ zones. 

If successful, they will be instated in ‘at least’ 30 percent of waters around the UK.

“Unless we act now we will live to see the death of the oceans. And, our children will never know the wonder and beauty of our once thriving blue planet,” the petition reads.

“Seaspiracy has exposed the truth, but we can’t fix this on our own. Now we need action, and that’s where you come in. Together we can change this.”

You can sign the Seaspiracy petition here

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The Author

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.

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Dylan Wentworth
Dylan Wentworth
1 year ago

So eat fish or poor people will suffer?
Come on.
Hey everyone, snort cocaine or poor people will suffer.
Farmers in Afganistan depend on you using opioids! You have the choice !

1 year ago

It’s not even that. The industry is insisting that because some people absolutely rely on fish to survive, we should all eat fish…in solidarity or something, I guess, even though our appetite for fish destroying the lives of these people.

Just another excuse that weaponises actual human beings, like arguing that because a comparatively minuscule population of Indigenous people in the far north can’t go vegan, no one should.

Ryan Lawson
Ryan Lawson
1 year ago

So their argument is a catch-22. Tell everyone they can eat it requires overfishing and overfishing leads to hunger and starvation for noncommercial fiingshers/poor people trying to feed themselves. Instead, we should advocate that those who can afford and have access to alternative food sources should focus on eating those sources and limiting seafood.

Juan Otalora
Juan Otalora
1 year ago

No at all! They’re saying for those who do not rely on fish to survive to abstain from it if possible. That way, those who Need the fish to survive can eat but there will be less death in the ocean. Does that make sense?

Juan Otalora
Juan Otalora
1 year ago

I absolutely agree with Ali and Lucy’s view