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Drop in shark population leads to destruction of bay scallop fishery

Along the eastern seaboard of the United States, hammerheads, duskies and other sharks have dramatically decreased in numbers, which could lead to the extinction of other marine life.

A recent study by the journal “Science” suggests that overfishing of large sharks coupled with slow reproduction and growth rates among many shark species has led to the rapid decline in population.

The study was funded by the Pew Institute for Ocean Science at the University of Miami, and the research may have serious implications for Florida’s fishing market. Florida leads the nation in the commercial landings of sharks, and a study that shows a decline in shark population lends support for shutting down commercial and recreational shark fishing.

Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Pew Institute and marine biologist at UM, spoke with the New York Times about the subject.

“People are always asking me why we should care about sharks,” she said. “This is a great example of why sharks matter to the broader ecosystem.”

Although Pikitch believes the research will result in changes in shark conservation, Steve Murawski, director of scientific programs and the chief science adviser at the National Marine Fisheries Service, does not agree that the research suggests any negative impact on marine populations.

“It certainly shows correlation,” Murawski told the Times. “What we don’t have is a smoking gun in terms of a predation link.”

ELSEWhere

Congress takes strongest action yet against Bush, war

Jillian Levy // The Daily Cardinal (U. Wisconsin)

(U-WIRE) MADISON – In an aggressive move to counter President Bush’s war plans, the U.S. Senate signed off on a bill Thursday that provides $123 billion to pay for war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill, passed 51-47 in the newly Democrat-controlled Senate, orders Bush to begin withdrawing troops within 120 days of the bill being passed.

Most Republicans rejected the bill, refusing to support a bill that imposes a forced troop withdrawal. Bush held a pep rally with members of the Republican Party to help raise support for his plans to continue the war shortly before the bill was passed.

Bush has made it clear that any bill proposed with a timetable will not be passed.

“We stand united in saying loud and clear that when we’ve got a troop in harm’s way, we expect that troop to be fully funded and [when]we’ve got commanders on the ground making tough decisions on the ground, we expect there to be no strings on our commanders,” Bush told the Associated Press.

The proposed bill was delivered less than four months after Bush’s new plan for continuing the war in Iraq, regardless of the pressures to withdraw from a majority of Americans, according to Canon.

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has been open about his disagreement with the Bush administration’s plan since the beginning of the Iraq War four years ago.

With the signing of the bill, “today marks an important step toward ending the war in Iraq,” Feingold said in a statement.

“For the first time, the U.S. Senate will pass binding legislation requiring the President to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. While this is long overdue, it is a big step in the right direction and it brings us closer to ending our involvement in this disastrous war,” he said.

ETC.

Bart Chernow, doctor, professor and former vice dean for research, technology and corporate relations at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was recently recruited by the Miller School of Medicine. Chernow will take the position of vice president for special programs and resource strategy, a position created to manage the growing amounts of special programs that characterize UM’s School of Medicine.

April 3, 2007

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.