The Instigator
michaeltang12
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
J.Kenyon
Con (against)
Winning
27 Points

Should shark fins trade be banned?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2011 Category: News
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 12,301 times Debate No: 16143
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (5)

 

michaeltang12

Pro

The shark fins trade should be banned
1.protect the oceans ecosystem
2.prevent the crisis of sharks extinction
J.Kenyon

Con

Thank you, Michaeltang, for issuing this debate challenge. The shark fin trade is a billion dollar a year industry, and it continues to grow at a rate of 5% annually.[1] However, due largely to overfishing, specifically the practice "finning," or removing a shark's fins and releasing back into the ocean, shark populations have begun to seriously decline. Some species have been reduced by over 90%.[2] However, the solution is not to ban shark fishing outright, the solution is to allow shark farming. The real problem here is that there are essentially no property rights on the ocean. We're still in the hunting/gathering stage of our development, if you will.

Consider the case of the American buffalo. These animals were once ubiquitous. They roamed the grasslands from the Great Bear Lake in Canada, down to southern Mexico, and east all the way to the Appalachian Mountains.[3] Herds were so large, the ground would shake from miles away when they were on the move. However, by the late 1800's, they were nearly extinct. Commercial hunters would slaughter them by the thousands for their skins. The rest of the animal would be left to rot. This is very much akin to the practice of finning and releasing sharks.

American buffalo populations were once decimated by unsustainable hunting practices, but consider the very different case of cattle. From an economic standpoint, cattle and bison are essentially the same animal. They both belong to the bovine family of mammals, both produce milk, both are herbivores, both can be used to pull a cart or plow, both produce leather, both produce meat, etc. So why is it that cattle are literally everywhere in the United States, yet bison were once nearly extinct? The answer is simple: property rights. No farmer in his right mind would consider shooting his lower fifty on whim, but the situation is very different for unowned resources. When no one owns a particular resource, a Tragedy of the Commons occurs, nobody has any incentive to make sure they are making sustainable use of it.

Imagine four children sipping orange soda, each from their own can. With this arrangement, things can remain relatively civilized and they can comfortably drink at their own pace. Now imagine that all the orange soda is in one big pitcher and each kid is drinking from one of four straws. Suddenly, it becomes a race to slurp up as much soda as you possibly can before the others do, lest you be deprived of your fair share. This is the same situation with shark fins and buffalo hides. While the ocean remains communally owned, nobody has any incentive to ensure that shark populations remain stable, or to market the entire shark. It's a mad dash to get the most fins possible before everyone else does.

My proposal is simple: begin enforcing property rights out on the ocean. If you want to fish for sharks in a particular area, close it off and cultivate it. This is already being done with salmon, steelhead, mackerel, cod, and other popular commercial fish.[4, 5, d] Currently, half of all fish sold in the United States are produced via aquaculture methods.[7]

Shark fin meat typically sells for over $300 a pound.[8] Fins account for roughly 5% of a shark's body mass.[9] If we conservatively estimate that an average shark weighs 800 lbs at maturity (some weigh much more, others less), that translates to $12,000 per animal, making the practice of shark farming potentially very lucrative. Additionally, sharks could be selectively bread for larger fins, making the business even more more profitable. Finally, sharks are valued not only for their fins, but for for the rest of their meat, skin, teeth, cartilage, and livers.[10] Shark farmers would have an incentive to process and market the entire shark rather than just the fins for the same reason cattle farmers don't skin their animals and leave the carcasses to rot in the field: it's wasteful. Farm animals are finite in quantity and require a significant investment of time and capital to raise.

In 1967, American alligators were placed on the endangered species list.[11] Like the American buffalo, they had been driven to near extinction by overzealous hunters. At around the same time, people began farming alligators as an alternative to poaching. Since then, alligator populations have seen a remarkable recovery. Alligators are no longer endangered. In fact, the IUCN places gators into the category of animals for which there is the least concern.[12]

In addition to solving the problem of shark finning, enforcing property rights on the ocean would bring about many other benefits, such as preventing pollution and oil spills. In the case of Chevron USA et al., Intercontinental Bulk Tank Corp et al. v. United States, the courts ruled against a requirement that oil tankers be fitted with double hulls.[13] Despite the technological possibility of taking such precautions against environmental disasters, it isn't politically possible to implement them. It's obvious why this is so: in virtually all western societies, political power is concentrated in the hands of the few. Oil producers and other big businesses are able to "capture" their regulatory bodies and implement policies that are to their advantage.

But of course, this isn't an issue for private property owners. In the 19th century, private road owners set their own rules.[14] Narrow carriage or wagon wheels offer a faster, smoother ride, but they also tend to damage the roads, especially when carrying heavy loads. To solve the problem, road owners would simply charge more for allowing the use of narrow wheeled vehicles to reflect the true cost. In the same way, the owners of private the waterways, could charge more for allowing single hulled tankers passage. Further, seasteaders would be able to take legal recourse against polluters. Imagine if someone tried to build a facility for manufacturing high explosives in the middle of a crowded neighborhood. It wouldn't be allowed; it poses too great a risk to the property rights of the surrounding homeowners. In the same way, oil rigs, oil tankers, or other potential pollution risks would either be forbidden near privately owned waters, or would have to meet extremely rigorous safety standards.

References:

1. http://www.sharkwater.com...
2. http://advocacy.britannica.com...
3. http://upload.wikimedia.org...
4. http://www.marinebio.net...
5. Halwart, Matthias, Soto, Doris, and James Richard Arthur. Cage aquaculture: regional reviews and global overview. Food & Agriculture Org., 2007, p. 32
6. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov...
7. http://www.sciencedaily.com...
8. http://www.time.com...
9. http://oceans.greenpeace.org...
10. http://advocacy.britannica.com...
11. http://en.wikipedia.org...
12. http://www.iucnredlist.org...
13. Block, Walter, ed. Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation. The Fraser Institute: 1990, p. 294
14. http://mises.org...
Debate Round No. 1
michaeltang12

Pro

Thank you, my opponent for accepting my debate.

Supposing I am the pros side and I have agreed that the shark fin should be banned. I will demonstrate why it is a greater method for us to adopt.

First of all, I will attempt to argue that sharks fin banned is beneficial to the ocean's ecosystem. In the last 50 tears there has been a 90 % decline in shark population since there are over-fishing problem. It Is certainly a blow to the population of the sharks and even a bigger blow to the whole ocean's ecosystem. Since the sharks are fairly high up on the food chain, the extinction of the sharks will damage the whole ecosystem and thus have a serious consequence on our environment. In Australia, one lobster fishery is threatened, because the deterioration of the number of sharks cannot control the octopuses eating the lobster. The growth rate of the sharks is similar to other mammals in that they have a low reproduction and do not spawn like other fish which has a thousands or millions of larvae in order to maintain their population. Sharks play an important role in the sea. It is a predator, killing some fishes so that to maintain the prey species diversity. It is surely essential that the animals have a natural predators so that the delicate balance of the ocean's ecosystem can be achieved.

Up to now, the killing is far higher than the sharks reproduction. For that reasons, after banning shark fins trade, the demand for the sharks fins is reduced so that the finning will be reduced too That is good for the delicate balance of the oceans ecosystem.

I will now rebut your points

To a certain extend, implementing property right is a good idea. However, form the basic principle of economics, whatever we are doing, we should consider the cost and benefits. If there are property right on the shark, it would involve a large amount of cost of defining ,enforing rights and information cost. Imagine that if there are property right on the sharks, how the government allocate the resources? Although it is a good method, it involve a large amount of cost. It is a more costly method than only banning the shark trade in protecting the sharks.
J.Kenyon

Con

Pro has dedicated the vast majority of his rebuttal to restating what I already acknowledged in the first round. Yes, shark finning is a serious problem. Yes, shark populations are declining. No, this is not good for the environment. However, I offered a counterplan that solves for the issue better than my opponent's proposal. His only "counterargument," if it could be called an argument at all, has been the baseless, wholly unsubstantiated assertion that "it is a more costly method than only banning the shark trade." Pro offers no evidence for this claim.

I don't see why it would cost the government anything at all. The only time the state would need to be involved is when a rights-infringement takes place. As I pointed out, shark farming is potentially a very lucrative trade. Whatever minuscule amount it costs the government to uphold seasteading rights could easily be offset by the sale of farming permits or property taxes on the farms. Enforcing a ban on shark finning would still cost money. Thus, unlike Pro's, my plan is cost neutral. Additionally, by leaving the shark fin trade intact, we would avoid creating unemployment. Pro agrees that apart from this concern, my plan appears to be sound. Having dealt with his only complaint, the rest of my case remains intact.

The resolution is negated. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
michaeltang12

Pro

My opponent have pointed out a strong argument, promoting a fish farm in order to ease the pressure on wild shark populations. However, fish farms cause a variety of problems that must be addressed.

1. Aquaculture creates pollution
The WWF and other environmentalists have argued that pollution from the farms could threaten marine life. This is a point elaborate upon by the WWF in their web page. "Fish farms at sea typically use an open net cage system which allows waste water to leak into the surrounding environment. The high concentration of fish in an aquaculture system means a large load of fish feces in a small area. This can cause algal blooms which reduce oxygen in the area as well as produce ammonia, methane, and hydrogen sulphide. In excess, these compounds can kill marine lif."

2. Fish Farm escaper endanger marine life
It is not possible that all fish can all caged up at net. Fish farms are not high security prisons. Although farmers do their best to keep fish in their nets, these creatures often slip out. This is illustrated in the September 3, 2009 BBC article "Fish fears after sea farm escape" where 37,000 juvenile salmon escaped their Scottish nets to swim out to sea. The main problem cited in the article was the "genetic integrity" of wild salmon. Farmed fish are bred for certain traits and having them breed in the wild could cause havoc to the ecosystem. Another health issue, posed by the WWF in "Problems: Aquaculture" is the higher incidence of disease and parasites on fish farms. In particular, farmed salmon have a higher incidence of sea lice – which can be deadly to a fish.

3. Wild fish is the feed for the shark and other farmed fish
Perhaps the worst problem posed by aquaculture is that it puts pressure on fish populations. As Ken Stier's September 2007 Time Magazine article "Fish Farming's Growing Dangers" points out, humans tend to eat carnivorous fish such as tuna, bass, and cod. These fish must be fed smaller fish which are typically caught from the wild and ground into fish meal. Roughly 37% of all seafood in the world is ground into feed. It takes 20 kilograms of fish feed to create 1 kilogram of tuna, making for a highly inefficient system.

4 Problems with competing/conflicting interests
Because ocean fish farming facilities would take up real space in the environment, they could cause conflict of interest problems in areas including fishing grounds and routes to those fishing grounds, vessel traffic lanes, military sites and areas of national security concern, marine reserves, sanctuaries and other protected or fragile areas, and areas of significant multiple use.

5 Water Pollution
Fish wastes, excess food, fish escapes, antibiotics, and various chemicals from fish farms can all result in water pollution and harm surrounding habitats by poisoning wildlife and causing other disturbances.

6 Trade problems
Ocean fish farming is unlikely to solve our import problem. Currently, we export about 70 percent of the fish we catch and grow here in the U.S. and import cheaper, often lower quality, seafood products. Fish grown in offshore aquaculture cages would likely follow the current export pattern, and the small quantity of newly farmed fish likely to be kept in this country would not offset the vast amount of fish imported.

There are no free lunch in the world. Considering the huge cost that we need to bear, it is more acceptable and reasonable for us to banned the shark fins in order to save the environment.

reference:
http://www.care2.com...#
http://www.suite101.com...
J.Kenyon

Con

Let me begin by pointing out that it is extremely poor conduct to bring up new arugments in the last round. However, Pro has gone far beyond merely bringing up new arguments: he's waited untik the last round to present his entire case. Technically, I could ignore all of Pro's new arguments and win the debate by default, however, for explanatory pruposes, I'll briefly respond to his new points.

1. Aquaculture creates pollution

Pro claims that the high concentration of fish in an aquaculture system means a large load of fish feces in a small area. First of all, it's unclear how dense our shark populations would have to be. Given that sharks require much more open water than most farmed fish, this point may not even apply. Additionally, Pro's copy-pasted source offers very superficial analysis. How extensive is the problem? Would the effects be mostly localized, or widely dispersed? Would the damage done to other marine life outweigh the benefits of saving our shark populations? Finally, I don't agree that the environment is intrinsically valuable, but rather instrumentally valuable for serving the ends of sentient creatures. As long as the environmental damage is localized and doesn't impact anyone else's seasteaded property, I don't see a problem.

2. Fish farm escapees endanger marine life

This argument is really vacuous. Sharks are far more valuable than cod; they would be worth more than $12,000 per animal according to my earlier calculation, thus farmers would have a much greater incentive to ensure that their farms are secure. If escapees pose a serious threat to the surrounding environment, thenFarmers could also tag the sharks for tracking. Further, this issue never arose with alligator populations in Florida where farmers are actually required to release some of their stock back into the wild. Even if some sharks suffer a loss of "genetic integrity" due to interbreeding, natural selection would ensure that in the long run, only the fittest specimens will continue to reproduce. When populations are already depleted, it's hard to see the introduction of more sharks into the wild as anything but a positive.

As a sidenote, there is always the possibility of raising sharks in inland, freshwater ponds, thus avoiding all the potential harms Pro brings up.

3. Fish farming puts a strain on wild fish populations.

Sharks could consume the processed byproducts of commercial fishing, creating no additional strain on the environment. Further, many commercially produced fish are not actually farmed in the ocean (mariculture), but inland in tanks or reservoirs.[1]

4. Privatizing the waterways creates a conflict of interests

This argument is totally non-unique. Fish farms already exist; if Pro wants to be consistent, he ought to call for their immediate abolition. Further, Pro's argument could just as easily be applied to all landed property. Should we abolish private ownership altogether?

TURN - Privatization works to resolve competing interests. If Smith wants to use a plot of land for farming and Jones wants to turn it into a garbage dump, it's impossible for both to have their way. The only way to resolve the issue is for only one of the them to have exclusive ownership rights.

5. Water pollution

This is just a restatement of Pro's first contention ("aquaculture creates pollution"), which I already addressed. Cross-apply my rebuttal.

6. Trade problems

Con claims that we export the majority of the fish produced in the United States while importing cheaper, lower quality seafood from elsewhere, thus farming would do little offset the environmental damage by foreign companies. This is totally irrelevant; it doesn't matter where the sharks are consumed, only where they are produced. Further, Pro has inadvertently undermined his own case. If we merely outlaw the fin trade in the United States rather than internationally, this will do little or nothing to offset the damage done abroad. Finally I could just as easily fiat my plan internationally to negate Pro's rebuttal.

References:

1. http://www.enaca.org...
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jak35 6 years ago
jak35
o.O
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
That is why I married my wife, she dont afraid of anything neither.
Posted by jak35 6 years ago
jak35
I like sharks because they bite things to death and dont afraid of anything.
Posted by Indophile 6 years ago
Indophile
"Native Americans were nomads, so domesticating livestock and farming was not part of their lifestyle. They hunted bison and the environment could sustain far more than they needed without the need for humans to raise them."

It's the other way round. They had nomadic lifestyles because there was no viable animals for them to domesticate and yoke to develop agriculture. If you look at all the continents, everybody was nomadic, until they domesticated an animal, especially cattle, horses which led to agriculture. No animals, no agriculture. The Americas and Australia are prime example. Only South America has the llama, that could possibly have been used for agriculture, but for various reasons, non development of metallurgy, for example, they never really took that step, and cultivated by hand and could never really be called agrarian.

It's not like the Indians didn't know how to domesticate animals. They domesticated the dog, the turkey, etc. Only none of them were capable of being put to the yoke in a practical manner.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
Yeah, sharks almost never attack people. When they do, it's usually a case of mistaken identity and the shark won't end up actually eating the human. I know divers who have actually made "friends" with a 14 foot female tiger shark. Most of what people believe about marine life is dead wrong. Heck, sting rays are completely docile. They'll eat frozen peas right out of your hand if you bring some with you on a dive. Jellyfish or bluebottles are probably the most dangerous things you'll run in to.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"what's you theory on why the Indians didn't do it"

Where did you think cows came from, Jebus made them all nice and tame? Have you ever been around uncastrated bulls? I was raised in a farming community, only about 1 n 12 farms had bull-studs, they are very dangerous to handle, my neighbor was killed by his stud bull.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
"Bull Sharks also don't like to eat people. "

Did the rest of that sentence really seem serious to you :

"The Bulls just get attention as they like to eat people on occasion that that stirs up the local populace a little."

We (humans) are poor food for sharks in general as our fat content is relatively low, hence why surfers are often rejected, they are too crunchy. Stupid sharks need to go closer to the shore to get to the waders.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
hunted*
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
African water buffalo are totally different than American bison.

Native Americans were nomads, so domesticating livestock and farming was not part of their lifestyle. They hunting bison and the environment could sustain far more than they needed without the need for humans to raise them.
Posted by Indophile 6 years ago
Indophile
Sorry about that grammatical error. I realized that quite late.

But my point stands. In fact look at this line from this link http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Large creatures that are aggressive toward humans are dangerous to keep in captivity. The African buffalo has an unpredictable nature and is highly dangerous to humans; similarly, <strong>although the American bison is raised in enclosed ranges in the US West</strong>, it is much too dangerous to be regarded as truly domesticated."

So you tell me what you saw there.

Also, if you truly believe that the bison could be domesticated, what's you theory on why the Indians didn't do it?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Amveller 6 years ago
Amveller
michaeltang12J.KenyonTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: all I can say is when I get better at debating I want to be the one to take Kenyon off his throne! lol
Vote Placed by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
michaeltang12J.KenyonTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's Round 1 lacked grammar. Con did very well in refuting all of Pro's points with a multitude of sources.
Vote Placed by andyh 6 years ago
andyh
michaeltang12J.KenyonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: conduct mark to pro not for conduct (see comments section)
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
michaeltang12J.KenyonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It seems odd that Pro skimmed his second response and then posted a detailed rebuttal in the last round. It almost appears ghost written.
Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
michaeltang12J.KenyonTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Not votebombing, see comments.