Published: 15:38, 08 April 2021
| Updated: 20:43, 09 April 2021
Posters inspired by a Netflix documentary that claim “the oceans will be empty by 2048” have been plastered along the aisles of several supermarkets.
The notices have been found in Herne Bay branches of Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Tesco Express and Co-op in their frozen food sections and next to packs of tinned fish.
They have been inspired by Seaspiracy, a documentary streamed on Netflix which sets out to expose the damage being done to fish populations and the oceans by the global fishing industry.
The posters contain disputed claims that the creatures will be extinct in less than 30 years and that "labels that state [they have been] sustainably caught are not true".
KentOnline understands that the people responsible are a mother and son who were spurred into action by the controversial film.
A person using the name "Finn Oceana" said: “One thing that should be mentioned is that [the woman responsible] did this after watching the documentary on Netflix with her son.
“He was very saddened by what he saw and wanted to make others aware.”
The 90-minute film – made by Ramsgate 27-year-old Ali Tabrizi – paints a grim picture of commercial fishing with secret filming exposing dark industry secrets and apparent high-level corruption.
It has received widespread acclaim from environmentalists and celebrities across the world with many viewers saying it moved them to tears.
Mr Tabrizi claims that commercial fishing is having a devastating effect on the health of the sea, predicting the oceans will be empty in less than 30 years.
But this has prompted backlash from scientists who say it was based on a paper from 2006 that has since been disproved.
Seaspiracy also asserts that sustainable fishing is impossible. This sparked an angry rebuttal from the Marine Stewardship Council, which sets an international benchmark for sustainable fishing.
A spokesman for the not-for-profit organisation said: “This is wrong. One of the amazing things about our oceans is that fish stocks can recover and replenish if they are managed carefully for the long-term.
“Research shows that fish stocks that are well-managed and sustainable, are also more productive in the long-term, meaning there is more seafood for our growing global population, which is set to reach 10 billion by 2050.
“While we disagree with much of what the Seaspiracy documentary-makers say, one thing we do agree with is that there is a crisis of overfishing in our oceans.
“The need to harness our natural resources more responsibly is more urgent than ever.”
The MSC also rejects statements made in the documentary that its certifications do not necessarily guarantee food has been fished sustainably.
The organisation says the accreditation is only given to “fisheries that meet the rigorous requirements” and that some “spend many years” in order to reach the level required.
Mr Tabrizi, who also studied at Canterbury College, told KentOnline last month: “This film will radically transform the way we think and act on ocean conservation forever.
“It is time we focus our ecological and ethical concerns on our seas and its inhabitants.
"This is a new era for how we treat the most important habitat on earth."
Spokeswomen from Aldi and Tesco have confirmed the posters were left in their King's Road and Sea Street branches. They have since been removed by staff.
The Aldi spokeswoman added: “We are committed to ensuring that all the fish and seafood used in our exclusive-label products are responsibly sourced from certified suppliers, and work with partners across the supply chain to drive continuous improvements in welfare and sustainability standards.”
Lidl, Morrisons and Co-op have also been contacted for comment.