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Scientists urge new research policies in wake of Gulf disaster
Date:2/3/2011

lative effects instead of focusing on individual threats such as pollution, bycatch or habitat loss;
  • Elucidate links among and within populations since oceans have greater movement, genetic exchange and dispersal than terrestrial systems;
  • Revise permitting processes to allow more rapid and flexible response to environmental concerns;
  • Encourage data sharing and increase access to data as a prerequisite for funding;
  • Improve assessment tools for evaluating anthropogenic impacts on populations;
  • Prioritize investments to focus on long-term population management needs.

    "We know that hundreds, possibly thousands, of endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtles were killed or injured by the Gulf spill," Heppell said. "That species had been recovering rapidly a great conservation success story. What we don't know, and can't determine with available data, is how detrimental the spill effects will be on that recovery.

    "We can use money from the resulting fines to develop a new strategy for monitoring and assessment that can identify the specific causes of population decline and make management more efficient," she added.

    Shifting the priorities of federal agencies to focus on research that emphasizes how and why populations change over time is a key, the authors say.

    Conclude the authors: "In the wake of the BP oil spill, the need for this policy shift is as clear as it is compelling. If the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history is not enough to effect this policy shift, what would it take?"


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  • Contact: Selina Heppell
    Selina.heppell@oregonstate.edu
    Oregon State University
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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