The ocean science and policy communities articulate two prevailing arguments to encourage changes in human behavior that will result in conservation of marine biological diversity. The first is utilitarian and includes encouraging the sustainable use of exploited ocean resources (i.e., prudent use of the public commons) and conserving particular attributes of the environment that provide ecosystem services such as processing wastes from human activities. The other is ethical and includes valuing biological diversity for its inherent properties and believing in its conservation for its own sake. Are these two approaches alone sufficient to build the social consensus needed to alter human behavior and implement programs to preserve and restore the world's oceans?
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