Human interactions with marine animals have existed for millennia with minimal impacts on population structure and environmental degradation. However, in the past 100 years or so our interactions with the marine environment and its inhabitants have had profound impacts.
Human interactions with marine animals have existed for millennia
Human interactions with marine animals have existed for millennia with minimal impacts on population structure and environmental degradation. However, in the past 100 years or so our interactions with the marine environment and its inhabitants have had profound impacts. Over harvesting of fish stocks, dumping of toxic wastes into the ocean, noise pollution, and development of coastal landscapes are just a few of the many assaults our species have inflicted upon the marine environment.
This semester we will explore two controversial marine fisheries that have had recent media attention. Firstly, the global tuna and dolphin fisheries. Tuna have long been fished by humans and are eaten by many cultures. Dolphins on the other hand are not generally treat ed as food by most cultures, but are still kill ed by the millions annually by people who do not eat them.
Why do many people think it is okay to eat tuna, but not dolphin?
What impacts do these harvests have on global tuna and dolphin populations?
What species are targeted specifically in these fisheries, and are they safe to eat?
We will watch two movies, The Cove and Super fish Bluefin Tuna and read two essays, Who Swims with the Tuna, by David Quammen and Tuna: One Last Biteby Paul Greenburg, to gain better insight into these questions.
Your assignment will be to carefully prepare an evaluation of the impacts that humans are having on these fisheries (tuna and dolphin) throughout the world. That is, what does it mean to eat tuna and dolphin? You may use other references, but you will need to specifically address those mentioned above. Thoughtfully synthesize your thoughts into three to five page essay.
In your essay you should develop your environmental conservation ethic.
That is, what do tuna and dolphins mean to you?
Also, what do you believe are the main issues at stake here, if any?
Further, are we at risk of losing species diversity? Can we continue to globally exploit these resources? E.O. Wilson, a contemporary ecologist, describes an ethics such: “A conservation ethic is that which aims to pass on to future generations the best part of the nonhuman world. To know this world is to gain a proprietary attachment to it. To know it well is to love and take responsibility for it” (The Future of Life, 2002).