Are you aware that the Atlantic bluefin tuna is a few small steps away from being put on the endangered species list due to overfishing?Â Or that some scientists predict that by the year 2048, humans will have completely depleted the ocean of this and other popular industry fish?
Based on Charles Cloverâ€™s book The End of the Line, this documentary provides an intense overview of how the greedy global fishing industry is essentially clearcutting our oceans in the name of consumer taste buds. Â Â During the film, we follow a number of scientists through a barrage of research and statistics, some quite startling, and learn that big business fisheries, like most monopolies, are doing far more harm than good. These industry leaders are so efficient that targeted fish, along with other unlucky sealife (seagulls, dolphins, etc) who become stuck in their nets, literally have no chance of survival.Â Yet fisheries still want (and get) more, more, more.
For example, fishing regulations put restrictions on the amount of bluefin tuna that can be legally fished by certain companies.Â These regulations are already twice the amount needed to erase damage done and replenish the population of bluefins in the ocean.Â Yet due to difficulties with regulation (remember, the ocean makes up over 70 percent of our global surface!) fisheries take three times the legal amount each year, devastating the total population by exponential amounts.
The film goes on to explain why some people believe that aquaculture â€“ better known as the factory farms of fishing â€“ is the answer to conservation and protection of ocean wildlife.Â Unfortunately, we find out that this too does more harm than good.Â In order to factory farm carnivores, you must feed them another life form for survival.Â In this case, fish farms basically transform one fish species into another, however for every 2.5 kg of feeder fish given, only 1 kg of the desired farmed fish is produced.Â Similar to factory farms, where the corn, soy, and other grains used to sustain farmed animals would produce far more human food than the animal meats do themselves, this process is highly impractical (and just as harmful to our oceans).
This is not an â€œanimal rightsâ€ film by any means.Â In fact, it is made primarily by concerned fisherman who believe their traditional fishing jobs, as well as communities who rely on fish for livelihood and survival, will eventually go extinct right along with the bluefin tuna. Â The End of the Line website actually features links on where to buy â€œbetterâ€ seafood.Â Despite filmmaker motives, the film begs humans to question their behavior and the food they consume.Â It is a step in a direction that most fisherman have not dared to go, and it brings to light an issue of which most humans may not be aware.
This documentary loses a few stars based on its failure to mention high mercury levels in ocean caught fish, an issue that The Cove focuses heavily on (if you havenâ€™t yet seen this, you must!). Regardless, The End of the Line is an eye-opening, tragic comment on the power of human selfishness to truly destroy the world, and a necessary addition in the tiresome fight for a more sustainable global future.