One of Malta’s longest serving MPs makes an appearance in a new Netflix documentary looking into the serious damage widespread fishing is causing globally.
Former European Commissioner for Fisheries and Environment Karmenu Vella sat down for a brief interview in Netflix’s Seaspiracy, which has been making waves around the world for its eye-opening deep dive into the murky world of eating fish.
In the interview, host and director Ali Tabrizi asks Vella what he defines sustainable fishing as, leading to Vella breaking down a metaphor with bank deposits.
“Imagine that you have money in the bank and you have capital,” Vella says. “That €100, which is the capital, is giving you interest. As long as you are taking the interest and spending the interest, without touching the capital, then that is sustainability.”
“As soon as you start taking away the capital as well, then you entered into the unsustainable cycle.”
When the presenter pushes back by saying the world’s oceans are already seriously in debt, Vella makes it clear that he didn’t agree with slowing down fishing.
Noting that one shouldn’t go to extremes, Vella goes on to say that “we cannot say that the only solution is we cannot fish at all”.
“For me the idea is not to stop fishing, for me the idea is to do more sustainable fishing,” he said.
Vella was in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries between 2014 and 2019 at the European Commission.
More and more concerns are being raised about the global fishing industry, with some estimates showing that the sea’s resources may be depleted by 2048 if current fishing trends continue.
You can watch Vella’s full interview in Seaspiracy on Netflix, out now.