GRE Argument Essay 188
The following appeared in an editorial in the Seatown newspaper.
“Seatown has a large port exclusively for fishing boats, whose owners pay fees for the upkeep of the docks and for facilities for cleaning engines and repairing nets. In recent years, declining fish populations have decreased fishing revenue and forced many owners to stop fishing altogether. As a result, the port has a high vacancy rate and port managers are considering allowing pleasure boats, including cruise ships and other large vessels, to use the port in order to increase revenue. But allowing pleasure boats into the port would be a mistake, because the fishing boats would be forced out of the port. We should preserve the port for the fishing fleet, which, unlike pleasure boats, contributes to the prosperity of Seatown.”
The writer of the given argument is of the view that in order to increase revenue, allowing pleasure boats into the port of Seatown would force the fishing boats out of the port. He believes that this would be a mistake since fishing boats contribute to the prosperity of Seatown and should therefore be preserved. The argument seems to be convincing at the first glance, but a detailed analysis exposes its flaws and limitations to support the stand taken by the writer.
First of all, the writer believes that allowing pleasure boats and cruise ships would increase revenues which have been on a decline since many fishing owners have stopped fishing. However, including these ships also includes a lot of initial costs that the writer does not consider. Moreover, it is possible that these cruise ships and pleasure boats are not successful to attract tourists, which would again mean a decline in revenues, as against the expectations of the port managers. It is also likely that the decline in the population of fish is due to water pollution or some disease that has infected the population of fish. In that case, fishing would not be profitable even if these boats were not forced out of the port. Therefore, the decision about replacing the fishing fleet by pleasure boats might not prove to be as successful as expected by the managers and the writer.
Secondly, it cannot be said that allowing pleasure boats would force the fishing boats out of the port. The writer says that the port has a high vacancy rate due to which the port managers are considering allowing cruise ships and pleasure boats. It is possible that there is enough space on the port to adjust fishing boats as well as pleasure boats and cruise ships in it. Since the writer does not give any account of the number of fishing boats or other boats on the port as well as the available vacant space, it makes the reader doubt if allowing pleasure boats would force the fishing boats out of the port. It makes enough sense if it is believed that there is sufficient vacant space on the port and thus the fishing boats need not be forced out.
The writer is of the view that pleasure boats do not contribute to the prosperity of Seatown. However, the decision of allowing pleasure boats could be profitable since it could attract a number of tourists to the port. This would not only increase the revenue of the port, but the overall business around the port and in Seatown would get a boost. This means that the decision could actually prove to be profitable for Seatown. Forcing out the fishing boats could prove to be beneficial in another way as well. The owners of fishing boats had stopped fishing because of declining population of fish. This decline of population of fish could be because of excessive fishing by too many boats into the port. Once these boats are forced out of the port it would help in increasing the fish population once again. Therefore, it would again make the port a possible fishing point and it could regain its lost prosperity by resuming its fishing fleet once again.
It is evident from the discussion given above that in view of declining revenues from fishing fleet, the port managers would inevitably consider alternate measures to secure revenues. Moreover, allowing cruise ships and pleasure boats might actually prove to be beneficial to the port management as well as economy of Seatown, which would in turn contribute to its prosperity. The argument therefore proves to be lacking in logic, which gives way to its limitations, and makes it insufficient to support the writer’s stand.