Tragedy Of The Salmon Analysis

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For thousands of years, people in the Pacific Northwest have depended on the annual migration of salmon. Salmon is a popular and healthy dish, and the commercial fishing industry is prominent there. However, recently, the population of salmon has drastically declined, mostly due to human-caused factors, including hydropower, habitat loss, harvesting habits and hatchery fish (Gore and Doerr, 2000, pp. 40-41). This decrease affects the ecosystems in which the salmon reside as well as puts the future of Pacific Salmon as both a species and a food source in danger. Using the key ideas from Garret Hardin’s essay “The Tragedy of the Commons,” the depletion of commercial salmon fisheries must be examined. Ultimately, programs for habitat restoration…show more content…
Hardin defines the commons as finite, usually natural, resources that are shared and freely accessible to everyone (1968, pp. 1243). Every person uses the commons in accordance with their individual interests. Hardin defines individual interests as the uses a logical, self-interested person sees for the commons to further his or her personal gain (1968, pp. 1244). On the other hand, there is also the collective interest, which is the concern for what is best for the society so that the commons can be preserved and maintained for future generations (Hardin, 1968, pp. 1244). Hardin writes that the tragedy of the commons is that the conflict between the individual interests and the collective interest will always lead to the depletion of the commons, unless otherwise held in check (1968, pp. 1244). Commons can be either depleted as a source, as in deforestation, or polluted as a sink, as in pollution of the atmosphere (1968, 1245). A “rational” person will always follow their individual interests unless their portion of the cost of collective interests is more than the cost of their individual interests. Issues that bring about this conflict such as population growth and pollution, cannot be solved through technical solutions alone (Hardin, 1968, pp. pp. 1245). Hardin defines a technical solution as one that uses science or technology to save the commons (1968, pp. 1245). A non-technical solution is one that uses other means such as legislation and education to solve the problems with the commons by changing people’s values or morals (Hardin, 1968, pp.

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