Ethical Issues in Aquaculture & Fisheries

The moral dimensions of fisheries are manifold, but the main ethical issues concern overfishing, interwoven with those of poverty, food security, food safety and ecosystem degradation. Each of these issues could be broken down into a number of related subissues, for instance: genetic modification of living organisms, introduction of alien species, protection of endangered or emblematic species, discarding practices, cultural sustainability, knowledgesharing, transboundary impacts, food contamination and safety. The ethical approach encourages participation. It proposes that the ethical quality of a proposed measure be assessed through its standing in a free public discourse. It also stresses the need for the free flow of information, public awareness and expression, transparency and accountability. In order to progress further towards responsible fisheries, it is essential to focus on what people can do and achieve, going beyond considerations of mere material interests and stressing the moral interests of welfare, freedom and justice.

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