The Wealth in Aquatic Life

Is Human Intervention of Aquatic Habitats Driven by a Desire of Wealth Having a Negative Impact on Aquatic Life?

Aquatic Life has been negatively affected by human intervention driven by a desire of wealth. It has become a trend to abuse the beauty of these creatures to generate income.  Pet stores and other specific fish stores sell fish to the public and are placed in tanks not suited to their natural habitat. In addition, Aquariums and Oceanariums place their aquatic animals in tanks denying them the right to live in the ocean or other habitats suited for marine life. Aquatic Animals populations have been abused by humans in an attempt for humans to gain wealth.

Human abuse of animals is portrayed in The Horror at Martin’s Beach. The captain of a fishing boat killed an infant sea creature and preserved its dead body to obtain income. In the text it states, “With judicious carpentry he prepared what amounted to an excellent marine museum, and, sailing south to the wealthy resort district of Martin’s Beach, anchored at the hotel wharf and reaped a harvest of admission fees.” (H.P Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene)The captain’s desire for wealth lead to the unkind and immoral treatment of this whale.

Later in the story, the captain and some others try to pull in another sea creature with a lifeguard buoy which lead to their mental and physical struggles. They becomes so obsessed with pulling the rope in that the sea creature pulls him in the water. The narrator states, “Their complete demoralization is reflected in the conflicting accounts they give, and the sheepish excuses they offer for their seemingly callous inertia.”(H.P Lovecraft and Sonia H. Greene). The author refers to the excuses as “sheepish”because there was no  excuse for why they were fighting this whale. It was no coincidence that the characters fighting the sea creature were pulled into the water.

Human desire for money leads to unfair treatment of aquatic life and the abuse of their beauty which humans are lucky to witness.




5 thoughts on “The Wealth in Aquatic Life

  1. Michael, while I do agree with your overarching central thesis that human intervention in aquatic life has in some ways had a negative impact, I would argue, however, that our intervention is not solely based upon greed. It is true, and has been well documented, that when an outside group, in this instance, humans, alter nature or aquatic life there can be serious adverse effects. If your sole intention was to highlight the dangers of disturbing an animal in its wild habitat, and or the mass killings of animals for the purpose of showing it off or for bragging rights – aka Big Game hunting, then I agree with your sentiment. With that being said, I do truly believe, however, that in some capacity the studying of animals can be crucial to their survival. Perhaps, I am naive, but from television shows I have watched on the Discovery channel or the Planet Earth/Blue Planet series, it appears as though a lot of animals, both on land and in the water are being harmed greatly by global warming (climate change) and over hunting/fishing. In these instances, I believe it is crucial that some form of human intervention take place – whether it be taking the animal(s) out of their natural habitat into another area where they are more safe, implementing a ‘safe zone,’ ie: no hunting or fishing (very challenging to enforce), or taking the animal into a controlled setting (aquarium/zoo). By doing so, this ensures the animals will be well nourished and have the opportunity to reproduce. A National Geographic Article written by Stephen Leahy accentuates the point about the enormous effects that global warming is having on the environment reads as follows: “Every fraction of a degree of warming makes a difference to human health and access to food and fresh water, to the extinction of animals and plants, to the survival of coral reefs and marine life,’ said WMO Deputy Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova.”It must be noted, I am not advocating for putting animals on display for the purpose of human gratification, rather I am a supporter of giving the animal a safe haven to live and reproduce, while figuring out the best solution for the survival and well being of the animal. In conclusion, I agree with you that humans are without question adversely affecting aquatic life/nature, but I also believe that in some instances there can be good cause for human intervention.

  2. Hi Michael, I think you set up a really good question about the relationship humans view with nature and its resources. At first, I was going to disagree because there are a lot of people who depend on water to bring their food(i.e. fish), their resource to take baths and even travel. Their actions do interfere with the cycle of nature. Then I realize you were specific about your question which convinced me to agree with you- humans being driven by wealth.

    Captain Orne’s ability to make money off of that baby creature really shows the dark side of humans. We, as humans, may not be accountable for each others’ actions but we all have the potential of harm. I remember reading a quote by Einstein, “Mankind invented the atomic bomb, but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.” If we assume the ‘mouse’ in this quote to be the nature/creature, it makes sense. Humans would do anything that holds up their pride and fame. We don’t see much of that happening in nature where pride takes a huge role. In the story, the protagonist helps us understand that we didn’t hear about this unknown creature until Captain Orne took one away. Then, nature does not remain a ‘mouse’ and becomes something more to serve justice. Well, that got me curious: Do you think humans still remain greedy even after they got their wealth and fame?

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