Ursula Keuper-Bennett howzit at turtles.org
Mon Jun 16 22:16:12 EDT 1997

Hello again Coral Types,

My name is Ursula Keuper-Bennett and I am a layperson who has been spending
much of the week in front of her computer trying to find scientists and
researchers who were prepared to speak out on behalf of sea turtles.

I have spent HOURS emailing zoology and biology departments of major
universities to reach the world's best minds until my right elbow was sore
from swipe, click, send.   I set a personal goal of "collecting"  PhD

Oh, I'll reach my goal because like the sea turtles I love I am persistent.
  The threat sea turtles and the sea turtle community is facing in the next
few months can happen to the researchers (community) of other threatened
and endangered species.  This isn't just a sea turtle thing.  I ask your help.

I have been told now that time to get signatures is short and I am forced
to send to the mailing lists again because the Net is notoriously slow
today and sending a letter to each prof at some Zoology department (I was
trying for Asian universities) is like skating on gravel this evening.

I offer a message I sent up to the scientific mailing list CTURTLE to give
you some idea of the sense of urgency our community is feeling right now.
Here are portions of that message.  I hope this will convince some of you
to sign on and add your names to the remarkable people who've already
spoken on behalf of sea turtles.

Perhaps it is because I dive with sea turtles all July and August and just
spend HOURS underwater with the same individual animals one summer to the
next.  As a diver I watch them from below as they aim at the surface...
necks stuck all the way out, waves washing over their shells, gulping air.

I see how much they NEED AIR and as a diver I have some idea of what it
might feel like to DROWN.  I am scrambling like HELL in an attempt to stop
the existing callous and disgraceful fishing/shrimping practices that trap
and DROWN these beautiful animals.

I have some idea what it would be like to see the surface but not be able
to get there and I will give everything I got to STOP this kind of dying.
I would appreciate help.  

I ask you read this message.  Thank you.


About a week ago, Todd Steiner posted the SCIENTISTS' SIGN-ON letter
regarding the World Trade Organization.  A few weeks back, I happened to
read a May 3rd article on the World Trade Organization in the Toronto Star
(I live in Canada) and took Steiner's alert VERY SERIOUSLY.

I will provide you with the only paragraph you need to read in that
article.  Here:

"In a similar case now before the World Trade Organization panel, Thailand
and Singapore are demanding that the U.S. drop its ban on shrimp caught in
ways that destroy endangered sea turtles.  The judgement, Desombre warns,
will likely go against Washington."

I don't think it takes any imagination to figure what U.S. shrimpers will
do if Thailand and Singapore win out on this one.  A TEDless U.S. shrimping
fleet is something that should make your neck hairs stand on end.

Please read the following letter and should your compassion move you to
sign, please do and forward this urgent message to others.

We, the undersigned scientists, are making this statement to express our
concern over the possible ramifications of a dispute presently before the
World Trade Organization (WTO) that may allow trade considerations to
overrule sound scientific-based measures on matters related to the
international protection of endangered species.

We are aware that a WTO dispute resolution panel is considering how
existing measures to protect endangered sea turtles from the effects of
shrimp trawling may interact with newly formed trade agreements.  We
believe it is imperative that the panel's decision not interfere in any way
with the right of countries to use scientifically developed facts -- not
trade or economic concerns -- to identify and implement appropriate
measures necessary to protect endangered species.  Through the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES), the international community has already expressly recognized the
need to protect endangered species from potential damage caused by trade.
The listing of species in CITES is determined through scientific methods
and measures to protect the species should be implemented in response to
the scientific results.

Scientific evidence demonstrates that the five species of sea turtles at
issue in this WTO dispute -- Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempi), loggerhead
(Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys
imbricata), and leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) -- are in danger of
extinction.  This danger has been recognized under both national and
international endangered species laws.

These five sea turtle species are listed under CITES as "threatened with
extinction [and] ... affected by trade."  In addition, the World
Conservation Union (IUCN) has determined that each of these species faces a
"very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future."  A study by
the United States National Academy of Sciences also supports this
conclusion.  More seriously, the IUCN has determined that the Kemp's ridley
and hawksbill turtles face an "extremely high risk of extinction in the
wild in the immediate future."

When species, such as sea turtles, are endangered, it is crucial that the
cause of the problem and the solutions be identified through the use of
scientific methods. Numerous scientific studies have indicated that shrimp
trawling, which incidentally captures and drowns sea turtles in nets, is a
major threat to sea turtles.  Many studies have also indicated that the
proper design, installation, and use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) on
shrimp nets can reduce the number of turtles killed by shrimping by 97% or
more.  Furthermore, TEDs reduce the by-catch of other marine organisms by
up to 60%, mitigating some of the negative impact of shrimp fishing on
marine biodiversity.

In sum, the survival of all endangered species, including sea turtles,
depends on the ability of countries to assess the problem, identify the
underlying causes and take steps to remove those causes on the basis of
scientific study.  That is what the United States has done in requiring the
use of TEDs to protect sea turtles.  The World Trade Organization should
respect the value of the scientific method and should not interfere with
the ability of countries to take measures that are necessary to protect sea
turtles, as well as all other endangered species.


Name                                            Title

* James Spotila, Ph.D., Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation,
Drexel University
* Edward O Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Museum of Comparative
Biology, Harvard
* Michael Soule, Professor, Environmental Studies, UCSC
* Elliot Norse, President, Marine Conservation Biology Institute
* Ray Dasmann
* Karen Bjorndal, Professor, Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research,
University of Florida
* Karen Eckert, Ph.D., Executive Director, Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle
Conservation Network
* Lester Brown, President, WorldWatch Institute
* Jared Diamond, Professor, UCLA
* Michael Salmon, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida
Atlantic University
* Miles A. Smither, retired Associate Professor, University of Houston
* Scott A. Eckert, PhD, Senior Research Biologist, Hubbs-Sea World Research
* Peter J. Lardner, Chair, Department of Natural Science, Flagler College
* Amory Lovins, Director of Research, Rocky Mountain Institute
* Arthur H. Kopelman, PhD, Coastal Research and Education Society of Long
Island, Inc
* Lotus A. Vermeer, Research Associate, Bellairs Research Institute,
Barbados, West Indies
* Homero Aridjis, President, Grupo de Cien, Mexico
* Mario Boza, Former Vice Minister of Natural Resources, Costa Rica
* Richard Luxmoore, Head, Habitats Unit, World Conservation Monitoring
Centre, UK
* Donella Meadows, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies, Dartmouth
* Charles H. Peterson, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Marine Sciences,
Biology, and Ecology, UNC- Chapel Hill
* Terry L. Root, Professor, School of Natural Resources & Environment,
University of Michigan
* Mauricio Quesada, PhD, Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica
* Jorge Arturo Lobo, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica
* Oscar Rocha, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica, Chair
* Alvaro Leon, President, Costa Rican Ecologist Association
* Rembeto Briceno, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica
* Rafael Acuna Mesen, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica
* Paul Hanson, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Costa Rica
* Astrid Michels, MSc., Department of Biology, University of Munich, Germany
* Javier Rodriguez, Prof, Ph.D., Department of Biology, University of Costa
Rica/Dolphin Foundation
* Carlos Jimenez, MSc., Center for Marine Research, University of Costa Rica
* Helena Molina Urena, PhD, Center for Marine Research, University of Costa
* Jose Vargas, PhD, Director, Center for Marine Research, University of
Costa Rica
* Jose Truda Palazzo, Jr, Former General Coordinator of the National
Secretariat of the Environment, Presidential Staff, Brazil
* Federico Achaval, Professor, University of the Republic, Uruguay
* Thomas Dellinger, Professor, University of Madeira, Portugal
* Jonathon Gorham, Senior Environmental Specialist, Florida Power and Light
* Suzanne Koptur, Associate Professor of Plant Ecology, Florida
International University
* Roldan A. Valverde, Laboratory Instructor, Dept of Biology, Texas A&M
* Luis F. Lopez-Jurado, Professor, Dept of Biology, Universidad de las
Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain
* John Gordon Frazier, D.Phil., Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios
Avanzados del IPN, Mexico
* Bruce G. Baldwin, Jepson Herbarium & Dept of Integrative Biology,
University of California, Berkeley
* Whitney Eure, DVM, Veterinarian, Volunteer, Hidden Meadow Marine
Environmental Project
* Carla M. D'Antonio, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
* James W. Valentine, UC Berkeley
* David H. Levenson, Institute of Marine Science, UC Santa Cruz
* David C. Rostal, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Georgia
Southern University
* Janice S. Grumbles, Veterinarian, Department of Biology, Georgia Southern
* Richard J. Mooi, Curator, California Academy of Sciences
* Terrence M. Gosliner, Senior Curator, California Academy of Sciences
* Gary Williams, Chair, Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology,
California Academy of Sciences
* James F. Case, Research Professor of Marine Biology and former Vice
Chancellor for Research, University of California Santa Barbara
* Jane Burns, M.D., Center for Marine Biomedicine and Biotechnology, UC San
Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
* Rebecca Goldburg, PhD, Environmental Defense Fund
* Mia J. Tegner, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
* Michael M. Mullen, Director, Marine Life Research Group, Scripps
Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
* James P. Kennet, Director, Marine Science Institute and Professor of
Oceanography, UC Santa Barbara
* David Epel, Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Director,
Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University
* Ronald S. Burton, Ph.D., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
* William R. Riedel, D.Sc., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
* Mark D. Ohrman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Marine Life Research Group,
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
* Joy B. Zedler, Director, Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory and
Professor of Biology, San Diego State University
* James R. Karr, Professor of Fisheries and Zoology; Adjunct Professor of
Civil Engineering, Environmental Health and Public Affairs, University of
* Fred Felleman, M.Sc., NW Director, Ocean Advocates
* Gregor M. Cailliet, Professor, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
* R. Andrew Cameron, Senior Research Associate, California Institute of
* William M. Hammer, Professor of Biology & Director, UCLA Marine Science
* Judy L. Meyer, Research Professor, Institute of Ecology, University of
* Lisa Levin, Professor, Marine Life Research Group, Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, UC San Diego
* Rod Kennett, Faculty of Science, Northern Territory University, Darwin,
* Graham Robertson, Australian Antarctic Division, Australia
* G.L. Kooyman, Research Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC
San Diego
* William F. Perrin, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, UC San Diego
* Peter L. Zimmer, Veterinarian, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Germany
* Paulo C.R. Barata, Researcher, Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil
* Mark A. Powell, Ph.D., President, Colliding Rivers Research
* Susan Kilham, Ph.D., Professor, Drexel University
* Pamela Plotkin, Ph.D., Drexel University
* Eugenia Naro Maciel, PhD candidate, Center for Environmental Research and
Conservation, Columbia University
* Richard Gersberg, Ph.D., San Diego State University
* Richard Rosenblatt, Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution
of Oceanography, UC San Diego
* David W. Dunham, Professor of Zoology & Associate Chair (Graduate
Affairs), University of Toronto, Canada
* Nancy FitzSimmons, Research  Assistant, PhD candidate, Zoology
Department, University of Queensland, Australia
* Dr. David J. Garbary, Professor of Biology, St. Francis Xavier
University, Canada
* Gert Jan Gast, Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of
Marine Ecology, The Netherlands.
* Paul Broady, Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences, University of
Canterbury, New Zealand
* Bradford E. Rehm, Ph.D., Georgetown Texas
* Nadav Shashar,  Ph.D., B.K.E., Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole
* Ma Corazon Maglasang, University of San Carlos, Marine Biology Section,
* Dr. Richard Gordon, Department of Radiology, University of Manitoba,
Health Sciences Centre, Canada
* Emma Gyuris, Lecturer,Tropical Environment Studies & Geography
James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia
* Micha Ilan, Ph.D, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Israel
* James S. Clegg, Ph.D., Director, Bodega Marine Laboratory; Professor,
University of California, Davis
* David Chapman, Professor of Biological Sciences and Dean of Mathematical
Life and Physical Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara
* Jeremy Woodley, Ph.D., Centre for Marine Sciences, University of the West
Indies, Jamaica
* David C. Powell (MA), Director of Live Exhibit Development, Monterey Bay
* Mike Forster, Ph.D., Findhorn Bay, Scotland, United Kingdom
* W.J. Jordan, MVSc, Bsc, Care for the Wild International, United Kingdom
* Todd Steiner, Director, Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Earth Island
* Deborah Crouse, Ph.D., Senior Conservation Scientist, Center for Marine
* John Keinath, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Drexel University
* Denis Goulet, Research Scientist, Tel Aviv University, Israel
* Craig W. Schneider, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Trinity College
* Hans R. Preisig, Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland
* Eugene K. Balon, University Professor Emeritus, Axelrod University of
Ichthyology, University of Guelph; Editor-in-Chief, International journal
"Environmental Biology of Fishes"

              ^               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 |__\  

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