[Coral-List] Chagos and Hitler

tim ecott timecott at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 27 12:22:33 EST 2010


What a wonderful example we have here of the mess that surrounds any attempt to ge governmental level involvement in the creation of an MPA. All coral-listers should note the level of acrimony entering the debate. No wonder it is so hard to do anything about marine conservation and dwindling fish stocks - no sooner does one person advocate setting aside a marine reserve than another immediately pops up to denounce the negative human impact of such a move.

the debate as conducted here could provide a Ph.D case study in why marine conservation is doomed in most cases to failure. Once again does it not seem that the parties involved are arguing 'rearranging the deckchairs on the deck of the Titanic'?

And if 'Mauritius' is to be involved then why not Seychelles? The Chagossians on Agalega have been frequently looked after by the Seychelles administration because little help or effort was forthcoming from Mauritius. And, while it may not be politically correct to point this out - the evidence of Indian Ocean states being able to adequately manage or preserve their marine environment is without a shadow of equivocation - abysmal.

Unfortunately there is a good reason for the healthy status of Chagos reefs: lack of people. I for one would vote for pretty much anything that kept it that way.

And by the way - do the arguing parties know Godwin's Law - which states that 

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

a subsidiary Law states that once Hitler is mentioned the debate is to all practical purposes over.

we reached that point today - so let's move on. please.

Tim Ecott is the author of 
Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World (Penguin)

> From: coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Coral-List Digest, Vol 17, Issue 22
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 12:00:02 -0500
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> Today's Topics:
> 1. Re: Chagos Conservation (Richard Dunne)
> 2. Chagos, now or never? or better later? (Mark Spalding)
> 3. Congratulations (Eugene Shinn)
> 4. position at American Samoa Community College
> (dfenner at blueskynet.as)
> 5. Re: Chagos Conservation (Jim Hendee)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 06:36:33 +0000
> From: Richard Dunne <RichardPDunne at aol.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Chagos Conservation
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <4B5FDEF1.20703 at aol.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> Ted
> On your rationale it is of course possible to excuse any of man's 
> actions on the natural environment or against his fellow humans, and 
> neither condemn nor defend past transgressions. "It was simply the way 
> things were done". As human society evolves and matures it develops 
> practices to protect nature and other human beings. So we have evolved 
> national and international laws on environmental protection, 
> Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Convention, the Laws of War, the Law of 
> the Sea, and bodies such as the United Nations. Underlying all this is 
> basic morality - a sense of what is right and wrong. Without these rules 
> or in the absence of morality there would be anarchism.
> The subject of human rights is not an "emotional" one. Furthermore, 
> where does one one draw the line in the sand? The eviction of the 
> Chagossians by the British Government? The Burmese junta? Apartheid? 
> Saddam Hussein's persecution of the Kurds? The Nazis and the jews? The 
> Slave Trade? Some of these issues are in the past and have been followed 
> by legal process: e.g. the Nuremberg trials; or the recent trial and 
> execution of 'Chemical Ali'. Others remain in the present and are still 
> to be determined as is the case of the Chagossians.
> The House of Lords judgment in 2008 was solely concerned with the 
> validity of section 9 of the British Indian Ocean Territory Order in 
> Council which stated: "Whereas the territory was constituted and is set 
> aside to be available for the defence purposes of the Government of the 
> United Kingdom and the Government of the United States of America, no 
> person has a right of abode in the Territory." Earlier courts (the 
> Divisional Court and the Appeal Court) had held this section to be 
> invalid. It was not about compensation. Nor is my concern about 
> compensation. Nor will the ECtHR case be about compensation.
> Nor do I seek "to halt the conservation of the Chagos" on these or any 
> other grounds. True I argue that it should be stayed until the ECtHR 
> (the final court of jurisdiction on this matter) has ruled. This will 
> then determine whether the Chagossians must be consulted and involved in 
> any future legislation concerning the Chagos. This is entirely 
> reasonable and logical as I argue in earlier posts. Neither has Charles 
> Sheppard justified why such a delay would be potentially damaging as Ted 
> Morris alleges here. There is already extensive Fishery and Conservation 
> legislation in force - it only a matter of enforcing it appropriately.
> The question of the resettlement of the islanders is a side issue. The 
> House of Lords noted that there were less than 1,000 inhabitants on 
> three islands in 1962. Presumably the numbers wishing to return now are 
> smaller. The British Government commissioned its own report in 2002 
> into the feasibility of the resettlement of only Peros Banhos and 
> Salomon (Diego Garcia, the most inhabitable island was not considered). 
> It concluded that agroforestal production would be unsuitable for 
> commercial ventures, that fisheries and mariculture offerred 
> opportunities although they would require investment, tourism could be 
> encouraged, although there was nowhere that aircraft could land. It 
> might therefore be feasible in the short term to resettle the islands. 
> But introduced into that report was the effect of global warming which 
> was raising the sea level and already eroding the corals of the low 
> lying atolls. In the long term, it was concluded that the need for sea 
> defences and the like would make the cost of inhabitation prohibitive. 
> Of course on this premise, the conservation of the coral reefs and 
> islands of the Chagos and indeed the future of the US Base on Diego 
> Garcia are also called into question. None are tenable. Perhaps nature's 
> course will determine all these issues.
> The largest and most inhabitable of the BIOT islands is Diego Garcia. 
> Charles Shepherd has said in an earlier post " ... a full no take 
> protected area out to the 200 mile limit would do much to ensure these 
> islands, reefs and threatened species were preserved - something much 
> needed for the marine environment and Indian Ocean. Should the 
> Chagossians return, then it would be to their advantage too." But we 
> also know that it is the British Government intention that 
> "Additionally, neither the UK Government nor the US would want the 
> creation of a marine protected area to have any impact on the 
> operational capability of the military base on Diego Garcia. For this 
> reason, it may be necessary to consider the exclusion of Diego Garcia 
> and its 3 mile territorial waters from any marine protected area." 
> Indeed this is the most likely outcome. Diego Garcia would not therefore 
> be protected under any new MPA, either for the good of the marine 
> environment or for the possible future benefit of the Chagossians. The 
> north western segment is already extensively covered in concrete, and a 
> deepwater port and anchorage constructed. Presumably there may be 
> continued construction, certainly continued dredging of the anchorage, 
> discharge of sewage out to sea, etc. Diego Garcia is to be afforded no 
> future protection under these proposals. The argument that an MPA of the 
> type envisaged can protect the Chagos for the Chagossians is therefore 
> flawed.
> There are not two forums, one for conservation and one for the 
> Chagossians rights. These issue are inextricably linked. I am no expert 
> on social aspects of MPA creation but I would have thought that in all 
> cases a holistic approach is required. That is why (and for the reasons 
> above) the decision should be stayed.
> Richard P Dunne
> On 26/01/2010 19:16, Ted Morris wrote:
> > Dear Listers,
> >
> > Mr. Dunne's response to my posting involves what I attempted to point out -
> > that criticism of the current effort to protect the Chagos by tying it to
> > actions taken at the height of the Cold War four decades ago is
> > inappropriate.
> >
> > The construction activities and the treatment of the islanders was not
> > unusual given the circumstances of the time, and I do not defend them..
> > However, I do not condemn them either. It simply was the way things were
> > done. If you have read the resettlement proposals of the UK CSA, you can
> > see that their plan to resettle thousands of islanders will be as disruptive
> > to the Chagos as that of the SEABEEs in the 1970s.
> >
> > The appropriateness of the islanders' compensation is really Mr. Dunne's
> > concern, is it not? Isn't the subject still in play in the ECHR? Won't it
> > be a subject of legislation in the democracies involved as time goes by,
> > regardless of the ECHR outcome? Of course. Therefore, I think where Mr.
> > Dunne and I differ is that I believe that those are the forums in which
> > resettlement should be discussed. Mr. Dunne's effort appears to be to halt
> > the conservation of the Chagos by using the emotional and politicized
> > question of the islanders' compensation. This will help no one and is
> > potentially damaging to the marine environment of the islands for the
> > reasons given by Dr. Sheppard in other posts in this thread.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Ted Morris
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> > [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Richard Dunne
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 10:01 AM
> > To: Coral List
> > Subject: [Coral-List] The US Base on Diego Garcia and environmental
> > protection
> >
> > Dear Listers
> >
> > An earlier post on the issue of the Chagos MPA posted by Ted Morris Jr
> > almost escaped my attention until I revisited it and followed his links
> > to his website.
> >
> > Mr Morris encourages us to protect the marine environment of the Chagos
> > by signing up to the proposed MPA. He also thinks that in protecting
> > human rights we are politicising the process. I would love to endorse
> > his viewpoint if it could be considered to be serious in the light of
> > his website which whilst containing some interesting 'facts' about Diego
> > Garcia has some fairly alarming facts and statements, for example:
> >
> > _On the construction of the runway on DG by US SeaBees: _(photos cannot
> > be reproduced here)
> > And then came Tom Grenier and his buddies.
> > They dredged the coral used to build the runway. Here's a little photo
> > essay on how they did it.
> > First, you set your charges and blow a big hole in the coral....
> > Then you bulldoze out the rock....
> > Then, Harry and Joe haul all the "little rocks" to the crusher...
> > Then you have a party....
> > .....and another.....
> > .....and another ....
> > Or, you could go fishing and looking around the reef for whatever you
> > could find...
> >
> > You might also like to visit the page on blowing a hole in the reef for
> > a ship canal. and I am sure that there is something there about dredging
> > the lagoon for the Navy ships and submarines._
> >
> > Elsewhere Mr Morris says_
> > "Finally Those of you who have read my website, or know me personally,
> > know that my first and foremost concern is for the defense of the United
> > States and our democratic republic. Diego Garcia is essential to that
> > defense, and therefore anything that would limit our use of Diego Garcia
> > would not receive my support."
> >
> > All I can say is that clearly the environmental 'protection' afforded by
> > the presence of the US base has been fairly alarming and that Mr Morris
> > is very lucky to live in a democracy which has not yet illegally evicted
> > him to another country as the UK Government did to the rightful
> > inhabitants of the Chagos, as it seems in the interests of UK and US
> > defence.
> >
> > I hope that the debate on conservation in the Chagos can proceed from a
> > more serious and open-minded angle.
> >
> >
> > Richard Dunne
> >
> >
> >
> > *********************************************************
> > Ted Morris Jr's post
> >
> > The process of protecting the marine environment of the Chagos Archipelago
> > is at a critical point, and signing the petition at http://protectchagos.org
> > is the very minimum anyone concerned with the reefs of the Chagos should do.
> >
> > Politicizing the process by insisting on the inclusion of Chagossian claims,
> > all of which have been dismissed by UK and US courts, would be unwise.. That
> > said, there are certainly many people who wonder just what really did happen
> > to the islanders back in the early 70s, and would like to ensure that a
> > suitable political solution is arrived at on their behalf. To fully
> > participate in that discussion, one should reflect on the economic and
> > geo-political context of the times, and not solely on emotional appeals.
> > There is also a huge amount of data concerning the demographics and
> > population that is germane to the discussion, but is not included in the
> > arguments posted to date.
> >
> > I've been a student of the islands, it's history and current uses for many
> > years, and about 18 months ago I wrote a short paper summarizing the various
> > British Court cases, the Chagossian lawsuit in the US, and the available
> > published literature at the time. That information might be of interest to
> > readers as they attempt to determine what role the Chagossian community
> > should play in the future of the islands. The paper is on line at
> > http://www.zianet.com/tedmorris/dg/chagossians.pdf.
> >
> > Meanwhile, the goal is to fully protect the near-pristine coral reef and
> > other marine environments of the central Indian Ocean, and anything that
> > would delay or derail that effort should be avoided. Conservation now would
> > be to the advantage of any future resident population, should things change
> > in that respect, and to no one's disadvantage, least of all to other
> > residents of the Indian Ocean.
> >
> > Ted A. Morris, Jr.
> > http://www.zianet.com/tedmorris/dg/stc.html
> > easy501 at zianet.com
> > skype: ted.morris.501
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> >
> >
> > 
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 19:47:12 -0000
> From: "Mark Spalding" <mark at mdspalding.co.uk>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Chagos, now or never? or better later?
> To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <001c01ca9ec0$5aae9220$0200a8c0 at Englanmspalding>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> It is reassuring to hear Charles Sheppard's message. 
> 1 - Neither the Chagossians nor the Mauritians have heard this clearly. If I
> can (I think) paraphrase, it might go like this. "Look guys, we've got the
> UK government offering us something we could all benefit from, but we've got
> 2 weeks left and they might never come up with an offer like this again. Of
> course we'll change things and accomodate your needs should the poltical
> situation change". Of course it may be true that the MPA would be easily
> altered as the poltical situation changes, but by not involving these key
> groups in the discussion from the start they have developed a deep distrust
> of the whole agenda and there is a very real risk that the MPA would be
> totally dismantled if the situation changes (which could be within 6
> months). The world's largest and the world's shortest lived no-take zone.
> 2 - There are ominous other hints of "get out clauses":
> - MRAG Ltd who currently manage the fisheries and patrol the waters, want to
> keep the pelagic fishery going...and they happen to be owned by the UK
> government's chief scientific advisor (to be fair they have suggested they
> will go with whatever is decided, but there will be some strong influence
> here); 
> - it appears that the waters around the military base will be excluded from
> protection; 
> - there are arguments that the only commercial licensed reef fishery
> currently permitted, run from Mauritius could be excluded from the MPA;
> - I have also already been told that the visiting yachts who currently spend
> time in Chagos would be allowed to carry on fishing (and lets be honest it
> would be impossible to stop them).
> - and its not exactly a get out clause, but there is no mention of funding
> for this new MPA.
> So a no-take MPA that allows ALL of the current fishing? Hmmmm
> ....and one that is legally highly dubious because of the Mauritius claim to
> Chagos, and that may even be dismantled under any of several likely future
> scenarios.
> Hindsight is easy, but I have to say that many people have been calling for
> collaboration with Chagos and Mauritius on this for a long time (not
> "informing", or "telling", or even "discussing", out and out partnership),
> They should have been at the table from the start, and had they been we
> might be in a very different position now. Just last week France and
> Mauritius agreed a joint management agreement over Tromelin, a much smaller
> Indian Ocean island which they both claim but which France adminsters.
> So I would say even from a purely, selfishly, fish-centric view-point the
> debate is still open. One strategy states "go for a strict MPA because it
> might be the only chance we get...and because the UK might never let
> Chagossians return or Mauritius re-take sovereignty, so from the fishes
> point of view its a great opportunity". The other says "there are too many
> risks, that legislating in haste will leave too many loop-holes and too much
> bad-taste among the stakeholders. Look how many protected areas failed
> because they didn't engage the vested interests". 
> Is a compromise not possible? Couldn't those calling for immediate total
> closure now raise their concerns about the loop-holes AND clearly state
> their open-ness to changes in management as and when there are changes to
> politics and sovereignty. Surely that would be pretty close to stating the
> need for another option - an MPA without loop-holes, that makes space for
> future change. Unanimity would strengthen our hand, and it might be enough
> to persuade the UK government to proceed, but buy more time for ironing out
> concerns AND, belatedly, bringing in the stakeholders.
> All best
> Mark
> Message: 7
> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 11:24:42 -0000
> From: "Sheppard, Charles" <Charles.Sheppard at warwick.ac.uk>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Chagos conservation
> To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID:
> <F6D8BCEA175741408BA167DD6F73CE0801642054 at LAUREL.ads.warwick.ac.uk>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Richard Dunne again asks ?why protect Chagos? and ?why hurry??, and urges
> people to ?vote? no to the government?s enquiry about whether to establish
> greater, clearer and easier conservation. My posting last week said the
> answers are in the several documents available on www.chagos-trust.org and
> www.protectchagos.org.
> But Mr Dunne conflates issues and asks what is the urgency given that, he
> says, a year or two more waiting can?t hurt? The urgency is partly the state
> of so much of the Indian Ocean: in a break-out session in one of the
> workshops on this last year, people came up with several biological reasons
> why more protection is merited now, but these really shouldn?t need
> explaining here. Partly because of the continued damage from (legal) fishing
> to numerous species, particularly threatened sharks, but partly because we
> have the opportunity now caused by government interest in doing something,
> which may not re-occur if we put this opportunity off. Partly too because
> the consultation deadline itself is February 12th, if you want your views to
> be recorded.
> Mr Dunne?s desire for delaying conservation appears to be based on the bad
> treatment of people removed in the 1970s and because a no-fishing
> declaration would prohibit the only means of livelihood of anyone returning.
> But as whole paragraphs say in several docs, the whole proposal is ?without
> prejudice? to the court case, and explains that if Chagossians do return
> then revisions would be made (I imagine changes would be needed to several
> other laws too).
> Any implication that urging stronger conservation on the UK government now
> is somehow being ?against? Chagossians would be false. The two issues run in
> parallel and are not exclusive (as several docs also explain). There was
> only one group identified who would be directly disadvantaged now: blue
> water fishing interests. Last week?s London Times
> (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6997414.ece) ran
> an article on the present fisheries interests. It shouldn?t need noting on a
> scientific list like this, but the tuna fishery, with its only partly
> quantified but huge by-catch, is quite distinct from demersal reef fishing
> by some local inhabitants.
> Voting against a protected area now will do nothing for the Chagossians and
> nothing for conservation of these islands or reefs and nothing for
> threatened species. On the other hand a full no take protected area out to
> the 200 mile limit would do much to ensure these islands, reefs and
> threatened species were preserved - something much needed for the marine
> environment and Indian Ocean. Should the Chagossians return, then it would
> be to their advantage too.
> Best wishes
> Charles
> --------------
> Professor Charles Sheppard
> Dept Biological Sciences
> University of Warwick
> Coventry, CV4 7AL,
> UK
> charles.sheppard at warwick.ac.uk
> tel (44) (0) 2476 524975
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 14:24:11 -0500
> From: Eugene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
> Subject: [Coral-List] Congratulations
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <a0623091ac784f14c7249@[]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
> Jim, You should be proud. 6000 subscribers..wow! And you put up with 
> my stuff all these years! You done did good!!! Gene
> -- 
> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> University of South Florida
> Marine Science Center (room 204)
> 140 Seventh Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
> Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 
> -----------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> Message: 4
> Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 12:14:30 -1100
> From: dfenner at blueskynet.as
> Subject: [Coral-List] position at American Samoa Community College
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID: <1264547670.4b5f775695159 at mx1.blueskynet.as>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> American Samoa Community College
> Department of Academic Affairs
> Position Title: Marine Science Coordinator 
> Employment Status: Full Time/12 Months (Two Years Contract)
> General Description: 
> The Marine Science Coordinator is responsible for teaching and planning, or
> organizing and administering the Associate of Arts Degree in Marine Science
> Program. The incumbent in this 12-month academic administrative position
> reports directly to the Science Department Chairperson.
> Job Duties and Responsibilities: 
> .. Provide leadership in administering the Marine Science Department 
> .. Concentrate on increasing student enrollment in the Marine Science Program
> .. Oversee the scheduling, grading, and instruction of courses and assessment of
> Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
> .. Teach a minimum of two marine science courses per semester
> .. Serve as an advisor and mentor for Marine Science majors
> .. Participate in department and academic committee meetings 
> .. Conduct outreach in the community to build capacity and aid in community
> development
> .. Develop opportunities for student internships locally and abroad
> .. Seek extramural funding to support and expand program
> .. Perform other duties as assigned.
> Minimum Qualifications: 
> Master?s degree from an accredited college or university in marine biology,
> oceanography, or a related discipline; proven ability to develop and lead
> programs; demonstrated ability to teach marine science effectively at the
> community college or university level; ability to communicate effectively both
> verbally and in writing; strong record of university and community service;
> successful record of locating, obtaining and managing external funding.
> Salary: Salary will be commensurate with degree and experience. 
> Application Deadline: Open until filled
> Applications are available from American Samoa Community College, Human
> Resources Office at 699-9155 Ext. 403/335/436 or email
> s.saofaigaalii at amsamoa.edu; j.toilolo at amsamoa.edu. 
> ? An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer ? And A Drug-Free Workplace?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> This message was sent from Blue Sky Communications, American Samoa
> Blue Sky, Always there
> ------------------------------
> Message: 5
> Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 08:13:19 -0500
> From: Jim Hendee <jim.hendee at noaa.gov>
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Chagos Conservation
> To: Coral-List Subscribers <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID: <4B603BEF.4090200 at noaa.gov>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Greetings,
> I have a new sparkler to throw into the Chagos fireworks. The U.S.
> Department of Defense (through the Secretary of Defense) is charged by
> Executive Order #13089 to be participating member of the U.S. Coral Reef
> Task Force. To wit, see Sec.4.:
> ~~~~~~~~~~
> Sec. 4. Coral Reef Task Force. The Secretary of the Interior and the
> Secretary of Commerce, through the Administrator of the National Oceanic
> and Atmospheric Administration, shall co-chair a U.S. Coral Reef Task
> Force (``Task Force''), whose members shall include, but not be limited
> to, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the
> Attorney General, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of
> Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, the
> Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the
> National Science Foundation, the Administrator of the Agency for
> International Development, and the Administrator of the National
> Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Task Force shall oversee
> implementation of the policy and Federal agency responsibilities set
> forth in this order, and shall guide and support activities under the
> U.S. Coral Reef Initiative (``CRI''). All Federal agencies whose actions
> may affect U.S. coral reef ecosystems shall review their participation
> in the CRI and the strategies developed under it, including strategies
> and plans of State, territorial, common-wealth, and local governments,
> and, to the extent feasible, shall enhance Federal participation and
> support of such strategies and plans. The Task Force shall work in 
> cooperation with State, territorial, commonwealth, and local government 
> agencies, nongovernmental organizations, the scientific community, and
> commercial interests.
> ~~~~~~~~~~
> Although this EO was designed with U.S. territories in mind, clearly
> coral reef areas know know no international boundaries; and in fact
> NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (www.coralreef.noaa.gov) provides
> for international programs and partnerships.
> The DoD was also charged with helping coral reefs in the U.S. Commission
> on Ocean Policy.
> I'm almost clueless on DoD coral reef activities, yet I see here...
> http://www.stormingmedia.us/39/3977/A397794.html
> that they have made progress. Perhaps now is a great chance for them to
> both help their quiet image on the coral reef conservation front, and
> also to help come to a solution regarding the Chagos conservation area. 
> If Diego Garcia is a "hands-off" area, but which is of concern in being
> included into a proposed new conservation area, then might I propose
> that DoD offers to the international research community a plan for
> conservation that is reviewed by peers, and which would allow periodic
> site review by those who would likely not be shot as spies? I think it
> is worth considering that this subject be put before the next U.S. Coral
> Reef Task Force meeting to be held February 23-24, Washington, DC. 
> Here's more on the USCRTF, http://coralreef.gov/ . Note this statemtent
> on that site:
> "The advance public comment period for the February 2010 CRTF Meeting is
> open through Friday, January 29. Advance public comments may be
> submitted to Sarah Bobbe via email at Sarah_Bobbe at ios.doi.gov or via
> mail at 1305 East-West Highway, NOS/OCRM/CCD 10th Floor, Silver Spring,
> MD 20910."
> In other words, by this Friday, two days from now.
> I know this suggestion in itself does nothing, or little, with regard to
> the Chagosians themselves. However, maybe this is a great opportunity
> for the U.S. (to include the Department of State) to look like one of
> the good guys.
> Cheers,
> Jim
> ----------------------------------------------------
> James C. Hendee, Ph.D.
> Coral Health and Monitoring Program
> Ocean Chemistry Division
> Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> U.S. Department of Commerce
> 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
> Miami, FL 33149-1026
> Voice: (305) 361-4396
> Fax: (305) 361-4447
> Email: jim.hendee at noaa.gov
> Web: http://www.coral.noaa.gov
> ------------------------------
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> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> End of Coral-List Digest, Vol 17, Issue 22
> ******************************************
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