Overfishing: A Consequence of Technological Change Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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Category: Overfishing

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I would like to argue that overfishing is an important environmental concern which must be understood in the framework of cause-effect relationship. Its resolution should also be taken seriously and should call the attention of government, civil society and other stake holders in which case, majority of our population. Overfishing refers both to an activity and an environmental problem. As an activity, it means the uncontrolled, unsystematic and unethical process of fishing which results to eventual scarcity of fish resources.

As an environmental problem it covers the initial degradation of the ocean life and the threat of its extinction. My view against overfishing therefore is manifest. I oppose the modern methods of overfishing against the traditional way which causes other significant effects of annihilation of ocean species, affecting consumer principles, and imbalance to the ecosystem. I would also like to view the situation as a product of market capitalism which must be managed in the same way in the end, sustainability matters more than profit.

Before any elaboration on the standpoint is accepted, one has to establish the ethical issue at hand. For instance, one has to seek evidence of the apparent down fall in the number of fishes in the oceans due to the use of technological fishing fleets; those who have managed to locate fishes easily due to censors and hi-tech facilities; those that have nets and other amenities that make them catch the target including bycatch and; those that come with the convenience of freezing and preservation allowing them to catch as much as they could.

If this is provided, the argument will prosper by weighing the advantages and disadvantages of such and express a conclusion that will result to a reconciliation of interests and a clear understanding of the context. The account however on the relative disagreement on the existing practices and nature of overfishing has been proven by reliable research and government institutions on environmental and fishery departments.

Subsequent studies have shown that overfishing through its high-tech fishing practices have caused the reduction in certain species of fish. According to the Pew Oceans Commission in 2003, overfishing depletes fish stocks, destroy nursery areas and produce wasteful bycatch. The US Commission on Ocean Policy similarly concludes in 2004 that there is an overexploitation of fish stocks at a 25 to 30 percent rate. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations commented in 2005 that global stocks have gone beyond limits.

The practices mentioned above, owing to technological breakthroughs have truly helped capitalists to produce, yet overproduce. It is important to note that the character of the fishing companies who are both driven and capable of overfishing is of trading and market-oriented nature. Thus, one must also establish whether there is a strong demand of fishes from the consumers that calls for greater supply, and whether the lack of the latter will yield to higher prices thus affecting consumer capacity to avail of them.

It turns out however that a larger supply will also lead to cheaper prices which will contradict the clamor for profit of producers and will require them further developments in their fishing techniques- however another implication of technological change. The same cycle is repeated, and the issue of environmental sustainability is not addressed. It is in this kind of analysis that I wish to propose another perspective against overfishing. Economics and philosophy are not necessarily the same fields but may experience an overlap.

In the issue of overfishing, the two have arrived at a compatible thought- of the negative impacts of overfishing to the demand-supply paradigm and the ethical problems posed by such. Subsistence has provoked small fishing industry to prosper. They act on the basis of needs not wants. Nonetheless, some of our wants translate into needs as well. A distinction must be made using Herbert Marcuses philosophy between necessary needs and unnecessary needs. Profit is more of a want than a need or if it is a need, it is unnecessary.

The respect for the ecosystem is also not only a biological assertion but a philosophical one; as it is the citizens duty to ensure life is sustained in a way that is both legal and ethical. Should overfishing come up as a commercial initiative and the desire to be able to compete in terms of fish stocks in the global market- we only need to look at how this selfish interest could take away the main source of income for small-time fishermen and the deficiency in human health as fishes serve as our primary source of protein.

Overfishing would threaten the preservation of certain cultures and traditions- like the Japanese reliance on fish as their essential ingredient in delicacies and lifestyle. What is even more detrimental is the pollution that is caused by the improper waste disposal coming from the huge ships. Legally speaking, the overfishing practices may not be questioned in the absence of government laws and policies that hinder them (big fishing companies) from doing those. Yet again, philosophically speaking, the absence or presence of laws may rely on moral grounds for the determination of the fair assessment of a debatable topic.

Consumers in the same way do not agree on the proliferation of the use of chemicals and preservatives in the fish products which again are a result of overfishing. Such will lead to other health problems. Thus our cost-benefit analysis leads us to a stronger side in favor of the advocates of anti-overfishing projects. There is no greater cost than death of other species that sustain human life and needs. There is no greater benefit than preserving the balance in the ecosystem and sustaining life itself.

In conclusion, I would like to make a reiteration of the sentiments presented in this paper as supported by my reasons. I have managed to touch on the moral, economical, political, social and economical and even cultural aspect of the matter. It turns out even in the consideration of advantages and disadvantages that overfishing must be questioned and stopped. A proposal on how it is to be done in a manner that will also not deprive the beneficiaries of the business of their specific needs may be given. One must note that these fishing companies also have employees to keep and who rely on them for income.

The civil society through the aid of the academe that will necessarily provide studies on how an ecologically-based solution could be suggested must work in tandem with the government that will provide both the resources and policy needs to enable the success of the suggestion. Using the framework on how business (or the market), the consumers, and ordinary fishermen could benefit in the most equitable sense; this will lead to the regulation of big fishing companies to give way to a more managed capitalism and favorable rate for the consumers and sustained economy for the common fishermen.

Implementation of policies is as important as its construction, and here, the role of environmental groups surfaces as against the offenders and the illegal fishing groups. Their sustained critical involvements as watchdogs will ensure commitment on the part of the producers. In the final analysis, no amount of profit could justify overfishing. We all have to install sacrifices to enable sustainable development. Technology may be helpful as it is an output of human growth and modernization, but limits must be imposed.

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