Excerpt from vetawade.com
I watched the recently released Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, over Easter. I think it missed an opportunity to consider artisanal fishers in the conversation. Artisanal or Traditional fisheries consist of various small-scale, low-technology, low-capital fishing practices undertaken by individual fishing households. Many of these households are of coastal or island ethnic groups. These households make short fishing trips close to the shore.
How timely and more constructive it would’ve been to provide a voice and platform to small-scale artisanal fisherfolk, their story, and the local initiatives focused on promoting sustainable fishing, such as those based on an ‘Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF).’ I believe it’s time the world not only sees our vulnerabilities in small island developing states and territories but values our contributions to conservation.
No conversation about commercial fisheries is complete without considering the disproportionate effects on low-income communities and communities of color. Small-scale fishers were disappointingly not considered as a serious part of the solution. The documentary missed its chance to mobilize networks of people in support of community-based fisherfolk who are poised to be the best stewards of the ocean for generations to come. Instead, Seaspiracy repeatedly told us to reduce or remove fish from our diet, with no regard to what this would mean to the fishers and coastal communities most depend on seafood for sustenance or livelihood.
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