Farming the Seas review

Why are there two documentary festivals running at the same time? It’s difficult to get people to support just one, two is not going to be good for attendance levels at either. I’ve been to see 2 movies at the Encounters Festival at the Waterfront Nu Metro. You can read my reviews here and here.

The other night I went to my first documentary of the Earthnotes Festival at the Labia. Farming the Seas is about the raping of the oceans and the different aquaculture options currently in use. It’s quite disturbing to see huge trawlers pulling tons of fish out of the ocean every few hours. One minute they are showing you beautiful underwater scenes of diverse, interesting and beautiful marine life. The next thing you see these creatures flapping around on the decks of the ships, or caught in nets.

It seems to me the only time there is a response to ecological issues is when it starts to cost companies money. Because the sea stocks are 90% depleted, the fishing companies are struggling to meet their quotas. So finally everyone is starting to realise that we need to do something about it. Organisations have been set in place to create and enforce policies which will allow the seas to recover. Fish farming or aquaculture has become a big industry.

The problem with aquaculture comes when they try to make too much money off it. The Chinese have been farming fish for centuries and have done it sustainably. Firstly they farm herbivorous fish, secondly they don’t overstock the ‘lake’ and thirdly they don’t over fish it. Waste from the process is used as fertiliser for the rice fields and vice versa. But when the westerners try and do it, they farm carnivorous fish (which requires 7kgs of other fish to feed them for every 1kg of meat they sell), they overstock the ‘lakes’ causing sickness which means they need to give them antibiotics. Now they also want to genetically modify them to make them grow faster. When are we going to learn to spell S-U-S-T-A-I-N-A-B-L-E?

There was a lot more info in the movie. I would recommend you check it out for yourself. We need to catch a wake up. If we only did something about the seas after they were over fished irreparably, will we also only deal with other environmental issues when it is too late?