Bioethical Considerations of Advancing the Application of Marine Biotechnology and Aquaculture
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Normative ethical considerations of growth of the marine biotechnology and aquaculture disciplines in biopharming, food production, and marine products commercialization from a bioethical perspective have been limited. This paucity of information begs the question of what constitutes a bioethical approach (i.e., respect for individuals or autonomy; beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice) to marine biotechnology and aquaculture, and whether it is one that is appropriate for consideration. Currently, thoughtful discussion on the bioethical implications of use, development, and commercialization of marine organisms or their products, as well as potential environmental effects, defaults to human biomedicine as a model. One must question the validity of using human bioethical principlism moral norms for appropriating a responsible marine biotechnology and aquaculture ethic. When considering potential impacts within these disciplines, deference must be given to differing value systems in order to find common ground to advance knowledge and avoid emotive impasses that can hinder the science and its application. The import of bioethical considerations when conducting research and/or production is discussed. This discussion is directed toward applying bioethical principles toward technology used for food, biomedical development (e.g., biopharming), or as model species for advancement of knowledge for human diseases.