B.C.’s Fishing Industry

1) Choose a species of fish and explain which ones you should consume and which ones you should avoid.

Sockeye Salmon (my favourite)

Based on the information I got from Ocean Wise, I found that the species Gillnet, Purse Seine, and Troll that are caught in the USA: Washington, Oregon and California should be avoided. In the fisheries in these areas, the farmed salmon are supplemented with hatchery fish which get to intermingle with the wild variety. When this happens the fishermen can accidentally catch the wild fish, which are an endangered species. Therefore, to prevent the extinction of the endangered species of that area, those fish should be boycotted.

2) With reference to the video “Salmon Confidential” and your own research about the advantages and disadvantages of salmon farming, assess how sustainable aquaculture is.

When fish are farmed (aquaculture), the close quarters of the fish allow for the rapid transmission and mutation of fish diseases. These fish are farmed in pens that are able to interact with the wild fish, and thereby, transmit the diseases that are produced to the wild variety, which kills most of the wild fish. If this continues It could kill all of our fish: farmed, and wild, therefore, I would say that aquaculture is not sustainable. The advantage of aquaculture is that it gives fish farmers a guaranteed “harvest” and they are able to control which variety the get, wile “protecting” wild populations. I think the way to make aquaculture sustainable is to only raise the fish to a young age and then release them into nature to go out into the ocean and come back to spawn. That way the fish are able to be more dispersed and have a much reduced chance of getting diseased. When the fish come back to spawn, the fisheries can just catch them with a large net, prepare some for consumption, and let others spawn for them to raise. This way we let nature do most of the work for us and we put more fish back into the ecosystem.

Deforestation and Silviculture

(Illegal logging for paper industry and forest clearing for Palm oil plantation. TESSO NILO Plantation Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia)

Deforestation: The process of removing a forest to use the land for agriculture or human habitation, or to harvest the trees for lumber.

Benefits:

1. There will be more space for farming.

2. The lumber could be used to build houses, or sold to other countries to gain a profit.

3. The space could be used for civilization. When we remove forests, it gives us far more land to expand our civilization; it makes more room for housing and commercial businesses.

Drawbacks:

1. The forests act as a carbon sink, they absorb CO2 from the air. Without them global warming is accelerated.

2. The forests also produce the oxygen we breathe, and without them there would be far less oxygen in the world.

3. The forests absorb water from the ground, preventing floods. Without the forests, there will be an excess amount of water and it will increase flooding.

4. When the forests are removed, it also removes the habitat of all of the animals in it, contributing to their extinction.

Silviculture: The process of replanting and managing a forest after it has been clear cut.

Benefits:

1. It can allow a forest to regrow after deforestation.

2. It can stop desertification (when drought causes the soil to be blown away by the wind, creating a desert).

Drawbacks:

1. The off cuts, scraps, and stumps caused by deforestation can make it hard for the forest to regrow.

2. When the forestry sector replants, they are focused on a plan of caring for the trees to harvest in the future.

3. Biodiversity is lost because the trees the forestry sector replants are the type they want for lumber; instead of the hundreds of types of trees that you would find in an old-growth forest.

Selective Logging: The process of removing part of a forest (only one or two species of tree).

Benefits:

1. Damage to habitats is mitigated because most of the trees remain.

2. Only the logs that are needed are harvested, allowing for resources to not be wasted.

Drawbacks:

1. As more and more trucks and people move in, it drives mammals out of their habitat.

2. It is a hard form of deforestation to detect because the forest density gets gradually thinned instead of cleared and it will eventually lead to complete deforestation.

3. In forest like the Amazon, where there are at least 35 marketable hardwoods, selective logging removes a lot more than just a small percentage of the trees.

How sustainable is B.C.’s forestry industry?

The statistics show that we are deforesting faster than the forests are regenerating, so if we keep it up at the speed we are, the forestry industry isn’t sustainable. For the forestry industry to be sustainable, we must take into account the speed in which we deforest. If we keep clear cutting, it will lead to many environmental problems, and if we keep replanting trees solely for future harvest, it will lead to decreased biodiversity. Moving forward I think we should take into account the demands on our forests, and then try to protect a certain percentage of them. We could even try to create a system of replanting and harvesting that increases the size of our forests and allows for the environment to not be negatively affected.

Sources:

www.cbc.ca

greengarageblog.org

www.for.gov.bc.ca

news.stanford.edu

Care ethics applied to the environment

An ethic of care, based on what I believe in, would be a kind of labour, a practice, a value, and a disposition. The ethic would be to maintain, contain and repair our world (our bodies, ourselves, and our environment) using four steps:
-1 Attentiveness: Being aware of what needs to be done.
-2 A willingness to respond: Wanting to do something about it.
-3 Competence: Working to gain the skills to be able to do something, or already being able to.
-4 Responsiveness: Using your skills to do what needs to be done in order to apply care.

When applying this same ethic to the environment the steps would look something like this:
-1 Learning about environmental problems.
-2 Being willing to respond, valuing the environment.
-3 Training in a skill or learning to become competent enough to help.
-4 Labouring to maintain or repair the environment in response.

In order to create this ethic we would need to become aware of some of the issues regarding the environment and how it could affect our personal ethics. For example, If you believed in utilitarianism you might find that caring for the environment could save many peoples lives, making it a good investment in your time. To take action we would have to learn about how we affect the environment, and should go about treating it like our home. It needs to be repaired and maintained because we live in it.

If we all took these actions and adopted an ethic of care for then environment, we would all be doing our part to help maintain or repair the environment. A few scenarios would be:
-Only shopping for local products with no plastic or non recyclable packaging
-Driving electric or walking/biking
-Voting in environmentally friendly MPs and parties
-Helping clean up garbage/reusing/recycling

The world would start to become free from fossil fuel and plastic-waste, we would see biodiversity come back, and all our power and resources would be clean and sustainable. Some of the only drawbacks I could see would be that people in the oil and plastic industry would have to find new jobs and unfortunately Lego would probably be made of wood.

So, should we adopt an ethic of care towards the environment? I think we should in order to preserve the planet we call home. But not everyone would be inclined to adopt this ethic of care towards the environment because everyone has different ethics that judge what they do and different motivations. So, I feel that to care for the environment the most we all should do what we feel we need to do in order to care for the environment.