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The long battle between conservationists and the tuna fishing industry over how best to protect the porpoise from possible extinction was precipitated by the fact that tuna like to swim in the company of certain species of porpoise. Inevitably, when the tuna nets are drawn up porpoises are caught, too, and in their struggles to escape some of them are killed.
Conservationists believed purse-seining should be prohibited to save the porpoises. Tuna people threatened to register their boats under foreign flags if the U.S. Government shackled them with too many regulations. Legislative skirmishes have been won by both sides, and many compromises have been made over the years, but the war drags on.
Lately, however, a phenomenon has been observed that may mean the porpoises are going to resolve the dispute by themselves. Those smart, lovable creatures seem to be avoiding the dangerous company of their old pals, the tuna, at least when the tuna boats are around. Many fewer of them are showing up in the nets this year, according to fishermen and government observers.
One theory has it that certain species have learned to run at the sight of the lethal tuna boats and have been able to pass that knowledge on to their young. Another theory is Darwinian—the survival of the cautious porpoise. As more and more trusting porpoises are caught up in the nets and killed, the porpoise population gradually has come to be dominated by cautious porpoises, which avoid the nets altogether.
Flipper may have beaten the odds.
ONLY A ROSE
For reasons only a trivialist would understand, the NCAA has published a list of its members' team nicknames. The list is predictably heavy in Tigers (28). Bulldogs (18) and Bears (17), but one name that gets the imagination rolling is the Heidelberg ( Ohio) College Student Princes. There is probably a certain amount of self-hypnosis involved in thinking of oneself as a wild, ferocious or tenacious animal. But how, one wonders, does the athletic psyche deal with being a Student Prince-of-a-fellow and playing football at the same time? And think of the cheerleaders. How can one exhort a Student Prince to "bust 'em"?