OneOcean Response Room Briefing – Edition #21

Date: 19th April 2021

This briefing covers conversation on social media and legacy media, generated by the documentary Seaspiracy. Data collection took place from 20th March to 13th April (beginning a few days before the official documentary launch).
This briefing tracks the evolution of the conversation through social media and online English language legacy media, through a communications lens. This analysis of the conversation has formed the basis for our evolving communication recommendations. The analysis does not offer a deep dive into specific issues of controversy in the documentary’s content, however it does include links to several articles that do this.

This briefing includes:

  1. Our communications recommendations
  2. Our view of Seaspiracy as a communications product
  3. Social media and news coverage analysis.

The full OneOcean Response Room weekly briefing and supporting analysis is available only to Flotilla members. If your organisation is interested in receiving this briefing, is not a member and interested in joining, click here or please email

Summary of findings

Seaspiracy has generated a huge amount of coverage in the social media sphere and online news media since its launch on 24th March. In our data collection we have seen Seaspiracy covered by outlets and engaging audiences that are not usually part of the ocean conversation. Although the content of the documentary is the subject of much controversy, the noise it has created around ocean issues is undeniable.
The analysis covers the evolution of the Seaspiracy conversation through three broad phases. The first phase is the ‘buzz’ phase of the documentary, which was characterised by a rapidly growing awareness, highly emotional reactions, and social media and media alike encouraging people to watch it. The second phase was dominated by a mass volume of reaction to the documentary, which was accompanied by online aggression and a plethora of fact-checking media coverage. In the third phase of the conversation, the heat began to die down and space has developed for more considered, balanced conversations around the extent to which the documentary and its contents are helpful or unhelpful to ocean action. Our recommendations have been updated to reflect this evolution.
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