Dermot O'Leary clashes with Seaspiracy creator over the fish industry

‘I used to pride myself on being sustainable’: Dermot O’Leary – who owned a seafood restaurant – clashes with creator of Netflix’s controversial Seaspiracy documentary who says businesses like his are destroying our oceans

  • The presenter, 47, argued that sustainable fishing is possible on Tuesday’s This Morning – after owning his own restaurant, Fishy Fishy, in the past
  • Dermot said: ‘In those seven years, we never served cod as our fish and chips once. We served dogfish which you market as rock salmon, whiting and pollock’
  • Filmmaker Ali Tabrizi disagreed with the broadcaster’s comments as he declared: ‘I think we need to be leaving your oceans alone at this point’ 
  • Dermot’s eatery in Brighton shut its doors in 2016 after nearly a decade, three years after its sister restaurant in Poole closed down 
  • The eye-opening Netflix programme documents the issues surrounding the multibillion-dollar seafood business and it’s links with ecological catastrophe 

Dermot O’Leary clashed with Seaspiracy creator over the fish industry during a tense discussion on Tuesday’s This Morning. 

The presenter, 47, argued that sustainable fishing is possible – after owning his own restaurant, Fishy Fishy, in the past – while filmmaker Ali Tabrizi declared: ‘I think we need to be leaving your oceans alone at this point.’

The eye-opening Netflix programme documents the issues surrounding the multibillion-dollar seafood business and it’s links with ecological catastrophe. 

‘I prided myself on being sustainable’: Dermot O’Leary clashed with Seaspiracy creator over the fish industry during a tense discussion on Tuesday’s This Morning

Joined by co-star Alison Hammond and fisherwoman Ashley Mullenger, the broadcaster explained: ‘I was a partner in a fish restaurant in Brighton for seven years and we prided ourselves on being sustainable.

‘In those seven years, we never served cod as our fish and chips once. We served dogfish which you market as rock salmon, we served whiting and pollock. 

‘All of these we made sure we sourced sustainably, so there is a way of doing this Ali, do you agree?’

Shaking his head in disagreement, the passionate producer responded: ‘Sometimes you could get by-catch and say well let’s just keep it and that will be sustainable but all that means is that the population of say dogfish starts getting depleted. 

‘I think we need to be leaving your oceans alone’: The presenter, 47, argued that sustainable fishing is possible – after owning his own restaurant in the past – while Ali Tabrizi disagreed

Shocking: The controversial documentary about mass fishing which shows dolphins being slaughtered and salmon infested with chlamydia has left viewers in tears 

‘We made sure we sourced sustainably’: The broadcaster was joined by co-star Alison Hammond and fisherwoman Ashley Mullenger as they went back and forth about the topic

Business: Dermot’s eatery in Brighton shut its doors in 2016 after nearly a decade, three years after its sister restaurant in Poole closed down 

Heartbreaking: The British director travelled to the Faroe Islands where he witnessed a ‘sustainable’ whale cull, called a grind

‘Time and time again we have this ‘adapt to diminishment’, the cod goes down so we move on to the next fish. That population goes down, then we move on to the next fish.’  

‘So those measures might be better but ultimately I think we need to be leaving your oceans alone at this point.’ 

Dermot’s eatery in Brighton shut its doors in 2016 after nearly a decade, three years after its sister restaurant in Poole closed down. 

The host told The Sun at the time: ‘Sadly, we decided that Fishy Fishy Poole should cease trading owing to the current financial climate.’

What is bycatch?  

Bycatch is defined as when a species unintentionally caught by fishing vessels that are actually trying to fish something else. 

50million sharks a year die after being caught in trawler nets, while 40 per cent of all marine life caught by the fishing industry is tossed back as lifeless bycatch. 

In 2015, a terrifying new report has found that 98 per cent of canned fish sold by Britain’s best-known purveyors, John West, are caught by methods which indiscriminately kill other marine life — including dolphins.   

Some supermarkets try to ensure that their own-brand tuna is caught using the dolphin-friendly, traditional pole-and-line method where fishermen catch tuna one by one with a pole, line and hook, ensuring that no other marine life is harmed — known as bycatch in the industry — in the process.   

Ashley echoed Dermot’s comments as she said from her fishing boat in Norfolk: ‘I think there’s a lot this industry can do and I think there’s a lot people already are doing. 

‘There’s some great initiatives surrounding recycling, the nets and things like that which do wash up. 

The controversial documentary about mass fishing which shows dolphins being slaughtered and salmon infested with chlamydia has left viewers in tears.  

Ali initially said he wanted to expose the damage of plastic in the ocean, but went on to explore the human impact of mass fishing, from the 50 million sharks who die each year after being caught in a net to lice-infested farmed salmon.    

One shocking scene in the film documents a whales cull in the Faro islands which sees locals slaughtering dozens of animals for their meat and blubber. 

Heartbroken fans were horrified by the film, with many saying they would never eat seafood again. 

The director began his investigation in Japan to witness a dolphin cull in Taiji, where the animals are driven into a small bay before being captured to be used in entertainment industries,.

Ali found himself hounded by police and was left feeling as though they didn’t record the activities of the fishermen.

He found that for every dolphin being caught, 12 more were killed – even though there’s no market for dolphin meat.   

Tamara Arenovich of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society argued: ‘The answer to that question is pest control. 

‘The fishermen view the dolphins as competition – they feel that they eat too many fish, and if they get rid of the dolphins there will be more fish available to catch.

‘Essentially the slaughter of these dolphins is a reaction to the overfishing that’s happening here in Taiji.’

Terrifying: In another shocking scene, a whistle-blower told Ali he filmed salmon being eaten alive by sea lice in a Scottish fish farm (pictured)

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