Ursula Keuper-Bennett howzit at turtles.org
Fri Jun 6 21:22:40 EDT 1997

Hi Coral-L Types,

The animals I care about hang around your reefs.  I figure some of you may have met sea turtles during your reef surveys and have grown to believe as I do, oceans would be much poorer without their presence.  They need some help.  I ask you please read fu


My name is Ursula Keuper-Bennett and I love sea turtles.  My husband and I have a webpage called Turtle Trax   


and we tell the story of a community of sea turtles we have dived with and documented over the years.

I am writing you on behalf of sea turtles --animals that are listed as threatened or endangered throughout their range. 

Dr. Galdikas, the prominent Orangutan researcher working in Borneo wrote this in her book, "Reflections of Eden":

"Along with other endangered species, orangutans are the innocent victims of human population growth, of development schemes and power struggles, of an insatiable global economy that creates greed but not satisfaction, desire but not happiness."

Well sea turtles are victims too!

On June 2nd, Todd Steiner (Earth Island Institute) sent a SCIENTIST SIGN-ON LETTER up to the scientific mailing list, CTURTLE.  A portion of it reads:



The attached Sign-on letter from prominent scientists will be made public
and every attempt will be made to have it officially presented to the World
Trade Organization which is now entertaining a complaint from several
countries against sea turtle provisions of the US Endangered Species Act.

We would appreciate your signature AND help in circulating it to your most
prominent scientific colleagues.  We are especially interested in
scientists from outside the US signing on to this letter.

Signatures are needed as soon as possible.

This is an urgent letter explaining to scientists that TED'S (Turtle Excluder Devices):  


are critical to minimizing sea turtle drownings during shrimp trawling activity.  

The letter explains that "to protect sea turtles outside US waters and avoid putting US shrimpers at a competitive disadvantage, the United States has also banned the import of wild-caught shrimp from countries that do not require shrimp trawlers to use T
EDs. Several countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and India, have challenged this ban before at the World Trade Organization."

Scientists are being asked to sign this letter and help make the oceans safer for sea turtles.  I don't have a PhD (or any other necessary credentials) and I am frustrated that I can't sign.  I am trying to do the next best thing by getting as many scient
ists from as many nations and disciplines as I can to take a moral stand on behalf of sea turtles.

This planet's got a lot of smart people on it... lots of PhD's so I am told.  I am looking for those who think drowning is a nasty and preventable way for a sea turtle to die.

If you are interested in including your name on the list of scientists who've already "spoken" on behalf of sea turtles, please send me email, and I will upload the entire contents of the Todd Steiner's SCIENTISTS' SIGN-ON SEA TURTLE LETTER so you can mak
e a fully informed decision.

Thank you very much for reading this far and I really hope to hear from you.

All the best.
              ^               Ursula Keuper-Bennett
             0 0              Email: howzit at turtles.org
    /V^\            /^V\             
  /V     Turtle Trax    V\    http://www.turtles.org 
 /                        \
When you study members of another species, when you
habituate them in the wild, when you begin to understand
the intimate details of their private lives, and then 
you learn that the population or whole group is sliding
towards extinction, what do you do?  In good conscience,
you must defend them...
          \       /                                
          /  \ /  \       --- Birute M.F. Galdikas
         /__| V |__\  

"So many PhD's so little time."

                          --- Me (June 6, 1997)

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