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Captain Paul Watson‘s message is pretty clear, “If the oceans die, we die.” To the average person, this might sound alarming but at the same time comforting, as most of us assume that the world’s oceans are vast, endless bastions of marine life, so large that the human species couldn’t possibly harm them. We’re all susceptible to this idea, but unfortunately, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In reality, scientists have predicted that the world’s fisheries could collapse as soon as 2048, due to our rampant appetite for seafood. We’re already starting to see signs that the oceans are dying – from the alarming rate of species extinction, imbalanced ecosystems, mass-scale coral bleaching, and the epidemic of marine dead zones. The oceans might be large, but the reach of human influence is equally so.

Having grown up in a small Canadian fishing village, Watson has seen the impact of overfishing first hand. He’s watched species that were once abundant disappear into far off memories and his work in marine conservation has only revealed the true, global devastation that’s being wrought on the oceans. The desire to get people to “wake up” and understand how our lives are intrinsically connected to the billions of other species we share the planet with – particularly the highly overlooked marine species – drove Watson to become involved as one of the founding members of Greenpeace. From there, he founded Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, (where he still serves as President and CEO), and has spent decades standing in front of whalers, confronting marine poachers, and being an outspoken advocate for living in accordance with the laws of ecology.

Few people understand what humans are doing to the oceans, and thusly the planet, better than Paul Watson and he shared his insight in a recent episode of #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias.

During their conversation, Nil and Watson dive deep into the state of the oceans and discuss the impact our eating habits have on them, specifically touching on how farming on land as well as overfishing has impacted fragile marine ecosystems, and whether or not seafood can ever truly be sustainable.

For someone who has been fighting for the environment for most of his life, Watson does not claim to be hopeful about the future. In fact, he jokes that the world will be quite a nice place once all of the humans are gone – but that’s not to say that he has any intention of giving up his life’s work anytime soon. Watson believes that we all have the tremendous potential to make a positive change in the world and all it takes is courage, passion, and imagination to solve some of the most “impossible” problems.

To learn more about the dire state of our oceans and hear Watson’s empowering words for aspiring conservationists, listen in!

You can listen to the full episode on the following platforms: iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher



If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast for new episodes with food industry leaders, health, and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food.

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0 comments on “Can Seafood be Sustainable? Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Has the Answer… and a Warning”

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11 Months Ago


Karin Nelson
1 Years Ago

Thank you for the great interview. Thank you SO MUCH to Paul Watson and his crews for what they do.

Virginia Witecki
1 Years Ago

Wsrched your show! Excellent! Thank you

1 Years Ago


Athula Amarasingha
1 Years Ago

All these things happening due to the bad activities of the humans and the highest growth of human population makes the situation most worst states. therefore we have to get controlled our human population and save the nature in order to live in peace and harmony.

1 Years Ago

We trust the scientific data and therefore, Captain\'s views. We cannot trust Japanese government which is ruled (governed) by mafia and corruption. But we can see that many readers (comments) already know about "uncontrolled human population growth. It is called Exponential Propagation. Like neutrons during nuclear explosion, like a virus during epidemic. Sixth Extinction has already begun according to statistics and scientific data and history. It is caused by humans. It looks like it is Evolution\'s way: one species finally begins to destroy all others. Like dinosaurs did in their time. After million years, hopefully smarter species will appear that will learn from vanished human species. Sad, but it seems to be the way of Evolution. The Creator and Destroyer, in one. Just like in Hindu\'s (?) legends. Stars are born. Stars are destroyed.

04 Aug 2017

Human population is not on an exponential propagation. In fact the rate of growth is slowing and expected to stop within the next 30 to 50 years followed by population slowly decreasing. And I don\'t understand your reference to the dinosaurs. They where killed of by natural disasters

Vic Cherikoff
1 Years Ago

All well and good to talk about sustainable fisheries but the real problem we face is just too many humans. I live in Sydney which has a growth rate of 1.7% and a current population of over 5 million. Working out the doubling time of a population using 70 as the key number. This is worked out for the use of percentages based on the natural log of 2 for doublings.

What this gives us is that 70/1.7 = 42 years (or so) is how long it will take for Sydney\'s population to double. Now I can\'t imagine how much seafood Sydneysiders will want in 42 years but there will be 10 million of us all consuming what little will remain at that time. I guess it will be good that with twice the number of cars on the road and nowhere near enough parking, no one will be able to go out to buy the seafood scraps available.

Nice to talk about sustainability but without addressing the uncontrolled human population growth it is only so much hot air.

02 Aug 2017

I agree with you Vic, and I say overpopulation is the biggest threat to our planet and no politician will ever take a stance on the issue because humans all over the world feel entitled to have as many children as they want. Population control and euthanasia are political hotcakes, and both issues will be opposed by religious fanatics until their god steps in and pushes the restart button.

1 Years Ago

People don\'t want to know. If they know they have to change their eating habits and that would indeed be inconvenient for them (Yes, read much sarcasm into that). Me? I haven\'t eaten fish in over 40 years.

M Leybra
02 Aug 2017

stop eating seafood will not save the planet, people need to stop procreating.

Nancy Raymond
1 Years Ago

Human greed is the #1 reason the human race will not last another century - of all species human beings are the stupidest and we keep right on proving it with our overinflated egos.


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