Subject: Pollution:Scientists call for urgent act (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 8 Jan 1998 10:21:03 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu,  8 Jan 98 13:06:00 GMT 
Subject: Scientists call for urgent act

Scientists call for urgent action on oceans

 UPI Science News
   WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- More than 1,600 marine scientists from
65 countries called for urgent action to save the world's oceans from
what they described as "severe and irreversible damage" caused by
human activity.
   "Nothing happening on Earth threatens our security more than the
destruction of our living systems," the scientists said in a petition
introduced today at the U.S. Capitol by the Marine Conservation
Biology Institute. The Redland, Washington-based environmental
organization was joined by House Science Committee member
Curt Weldon, R-Pa.
   The statement, called "Troubled Waters," was signed by such
advocates of oceans, coastal waters and estuaries as former Chief
Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Sylvia Earle and the directors of marine research of a universities
and oceanographic institutions around the world.
   The researchers cited epidemic diseases in a wide range of marine
species including corals, dolphins and sea birds, climate change, and
threatened shorelines as some of the key problems of damaging human
activity. They blamed overfishing and destructive fishing methods,
such as bottom trawling; pollution; the physical alteration of
ecosystems; global warming; and the introduction of alien species to
waters to which they are not native.
   "If it's business as usual, said Patricia Morse, a marine biologist
from Northeastern Univesity, "it spells disaster for industries like
fishing and tourism -- and for every human on Earth, because we all
use goods and services provided by the sea."
   Institute president Elliott Norse said, "Getting scientists to
agree on anything is like herding cats." Norse is the author of a
1993 book called Global Marine Biological Diversity, which some
consider to be the most comprehensive work available on marine
   He said, "Having 1,600 experts voice their concerns publicly
highlights how seriously the sea is threatened."