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   Due to a recent article in the local paper I've added this letter sent to the editor. I apologize for not adding a copy of the original article but at the time I felt it was at best poor reporting. It appears that the reporter was a little robust in their description of the events that occurred. The condeming headline "Slaughter on water shocks vacationers" (Aug. 22) and ended it on a similar note, with ". . . the day of the harpooning." These two lines were enough for me to see that this reporter did not do there homework. I've added the letters below so you can see what really happened.

Partnership works hard to protect marine life

Dr. HEATHER KOOPMAN
Biologist Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research
Aug 26/03

    This letter is written in response to recent articles (Aug. 22 and 23, Telegraph-Journal) describing the alleged harpooning of a porpoise or whale in a Grand Manan herring weir.
   We would like to clarify one fact that was not addressed in either article: the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station (GMWSRS) has worked in close partnership with Grand Manan weir fishermen to safely release harbour porpoises and whales from herring weirs for the past 12 years through the Harbour Porpoise Release Program (HPRP).
   Since its inception in 1991, the HPRP has resulted in the safe release of more than 700 porpoises from weirs around Grand Manan, as well as four humpbacks, two right whales, an Atlantic white-sided dolphin, and more than 20 minke whales.
   None of this would have been possible without the support and participation of the Grand Manan herring weir fishermen and the weir industry. The number of porpoises released each year has varied between three and 244 but we have been able to maintain an overall success rate of 94 per cent. As part of this program, many weir fishermen also remove porpoises on their own when we are not available to assist.
   The HPRP is supported by Connors Brothers, and by conservation organizations from around the globe, and has received international recognition (see National Geographic June 2003) as an example of a successful partnership between fishermen and conservationists, working together to save this species of special concern (designation of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada - COSEWIC).
   The HPRP is beneficial for all involved: harbour porpoises, the weir fishery, porpoise biologists and for marine conservation as a whole.
   We feel that the impressive accomplishments of this program should be recognized as a conservation success story - one that could only be realized through the dedicated efforts of both the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station and the Grand Manan weir fishery.

Article sends mixed messages

DAVID INGALLS
McAdam

   The Telegraph-Journal began its report on the incident at Bradford Cove with this condemning headline, "Slaughter on water shocks vacationers" (Aug. 22) and ended it on a similar note, with ". . . the day of the harpooning." Pretty straight forward.
   Yet, in the report, there was an indication that the investigation into the incident is ongoing and that no conclusion had been reached. Which are we to believe?
   Had vacationers Steve Alves and Wendy Sibbison stayed on a few days they could have witnessed the release of a whale from Bradford Cove weir on Aug. 10, at the cost to the fishermen of several tons of herring and a hard day's labour.
   Too bad they missed it. It might have helped to dry their tears and mend their broken hearts.

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