Glacier Bay Needs Your Help

Aaron Tinker atinker at
Mon May 4 18:05:37 EDT 1998

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

	Please accept my apology for any cross-postings.

	On January 6 at The Capitol in Washington DC, Marine Conservation Biology
Institute released Troubled Waters: A Call for Action, a statement by 1,605
conservation biologists and marine scientists highlighting the major
threats to marine biodiversity and what must be done to protect it.
Troubled Waters was covered by major electronic and print media in North
America and many other countries, disseminating an essential message
worldwide at the beginning of the International Year of the Ocean.

	The Troubled Waters signers called for a dramatic increase in marine
protected areas, but some people in the USA–including US Senator Frank
Murkowski (R-AK)–do not seem to have gotten the message.  Although Alaska
has more than 75 thousand kilometers of coastline (more than Australia, New
Zealand, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Norway combined), it has lagged
other places in embracing marine protected areas as a way of conserving its
wealth of marine life.  Alaska hosts no National Marine Sanctuaries, and
its premier marine protected area–Glacier Bay National Park–has allowed
commercial fishing for salmon, halibut and crabs to continue, despite the
clear mandate against commercial take in National Parks.  The National Park
Service is now proposing to phase out commercial fishing in Glacier Bay
National Park.  Strong support from marine scientists and conservation
biologists is essential to make this happen, especially because Senator
Murkowski has introduced a bill, S. 1064, to prevent the National Park
Service from stopping commercial fishing in the Park.  Therefore, we are
asking US senior scientists and graduate students in relevant natural and
social marine sciences to join us in supporting the principle that we need
marine protected areas that are true refuges from extractive uses, by
signing Protecting Marine Life in Glacier Bay National Park (following).
If you agree, please e-mail MCBI's Caroline Chisholm (caroline at
with your full name, highest degree, title (e.g. Assistant Professor,
Independent Consultant), institution, city, state, phone, fax and e-mail
address by May 10.  MCBI will present the statement and its signers at a
National Park Service hearing in Seattle on May 14.  For more information,
please consult our worldwide web site:


Elliott Norse, Ph.D., President
Marine Conservation Biology Institute

Protecting Marine Life in Glacier Bay National Park

	As conservation biologists and marine scientists, we believe that
maintaining and restoring biological diversity is a crucial conservation
goal for the United States, in the sea no less than on land and in fresh
waters.  As it is in nonmarine realms, biological diversity is increasingly
threatened in the sea, and marine species and ecosystems deserve no less
protection than nonmarine ones.  But US policy on marine protected areas
does not reflect scientists' concerns: Less than 0.1% of US marine waters
are permanently protected from commercial fishing.

	Scientists are increasingly recognizing that marine protected areas are an
essential tool for studying how relatively undisturbed ecosystems function
and for conserving marine species and maintaining the integrity of marine
ecosystems.  There is growing evidence that such "no-take" reserves benefit
fisheries by increasing populations outside reserves.  But the USA has few
marine protected areas and nearly all of them provide insufficient
protection from the threats to marine biodiversity, particularly fishing.

	Among the various kinds of protected areas on land, National Parks serve
as refuges crucial to nonmarine species that have been depleted or
eliminated elsewhere in the USA.  There is no scientific justification for
giving marine portions of National Parks any less protection than their
terrestrial portions.  Just as the USA does not allow extractive uses such
as logging in Olympic National Park or buffalo hunting in Yellowstone
National Park, our nation must not allow commercial fishing in Glacier Bay
National Park or other National Parks.  As scientists who understand the
importance of true protected areas for maintaining biological diversity, we
call upon the Interior Department's National Park Service and the US
Congress to stop all commercial fishing in Glacier Bay National Park.

**** <>< <>< ******* <>< *<>< <>< **** <>< ****<>< * <>< ******* <>< *
Aaron Tinker                            *   MCBI is a nonprofit, tax-exempt
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Marine Conservation Biology Institute   *   advancing the science of marine
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