Nowadays, environmental issues are rapidly raising concerns and awareness to the society. It is good to know that problems involving environmental neglect and degradation are a problem of environmentalists no more, but also of politicians and ordinary citizens as well. Say, we should analyze a hypothetical problem regarding the issuance of business license in a local western coast, where two pre-dominant businesses already exist, a bait fish fishery of pilchards and an oyster lease. There are two promising businesses vying for the license, a Tuna Cage Farm and a Dolphin Swim Tourism Project.
Both of the new establishments would create added benefits and disadvantages to the area and the pre-existing businesses, so the choice should be carefully examined. Primarily, the bait fishery in the western coast consists of pilchards. Pilchards are any of various small marine fishes especially the commercially important edible species. These pilchards are caught throughout the year, mostly during the night, using purse seine nets. The nets are pursed and drawn to an area adjacent to the vessel, and fish are removed from the net with pumps and placed in the hold of the boat. In layman’s term, pilchards have a wild capture.
Unlike the wild pilchard capture, the tuna harvest is spawned in floating cages. Since it is a controlled environment, the unutilized feed components in the cages usually accumulate in the ambient water columns and substantially alter the benthic environment for the fishes. The toxic wastes from tuna cages caused massive pilchard mortalities, as shown in 1995 and 1998 incidents. Furthermore, the toxic wastes spread far at a rapid pace, about 500 km in 20 days, as shown in graph. The Dolphin Swim project, on the other hand, would introduce more boats that might disrupt the spawning season of the pilchards.
There is also a probability that dolphins would consider the pilchards as prey. But aside from that, the dolphins can co-exist peacefully with the pilchards. The benthic area is preserved and the probable food cycle is just a natural process. Moreover, the industry in the coast will be promoted. Comparatively, it is evidently more harmful to facilitate a tuna cage farm with a co-existing pilchard industry; thus, the Dolphin Swim project should be favored. The decision was based on two significant aspects; which business is economically efficient while remaining ecologically sustainable. The Dolphin Swim Industry fulfilled these criteria.
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