At Loggerheadsrnby William BaldwinrnCaught in the Netrnhy Anthony V. Margavio andrnCraig /. Forsyth, with Shirley Laskarnand James MasonrnCollege Station:rnTexas A&M University Press;rn156 pp., $32.50rnThe Endangered Species Act is arncontroversial directive. The snailrndarter and spotted owl have gleaned nornend of headlines, having been used tornjustify the preservation of huge areas ofrnhabitat. Less well known is the plight ofrnour sea turtles, large amphibians that arernin particular danger when they enter thernshallows in the spring in preparation forrnbreeding and laying their eggs in beachrnsand.rnShrimpers towing their nets in thesernsame areas often catch, and occasionallyrndrown, the turtles. Other dangers exist,rnof course: recreational boaters, plastic debrisrnthat the turtles mistake for food,rnand, more broadly, pollution and beachfrontrndevelopment. Still, it is thernshrimpers who bear the burden of environmentalrnlegislation, being required torndraw turtle excluder devices, otherwisernknown as TEDs. The TEDs do seem tornwork, as fewer dead turtles wash up onrnthe beaches. But the devices cut thernshrimp catch by 10 to 15 percent, whichrnin hard times can eliminate the profit.rnAlso, the TEDs must be pulled in placesrnwhere, and seasons when, turtles are seldomrncaught. Who are threatened more,rnthe turtles or the shrimpers?rnThat is the question being asked byrnthese Louisiana sociologists, and thoughrnat the beginning they claim scientificrnobjectivity, the very fact they are askingrnat all suggests populist sympathies. Thernenvironmental problems are very real,rnand fishing techniques are indeed wasteful,rnbut why have shrimpers suddenlyrnbecome the villains? On the Cajun level,rnat least, they represent a way of life thatrnenforces the dignity of work, communityrnlife, self-sufficiency, and pride, as opposedrnto a powerful environmentalrnmovement tainted by elitism and corporaterndealing.rnThe Cajun shrimpers of the Louisianarncoast had had enough. Volunteer programsrnand an alternate design for TEDsrnwere discussed. Meetings were heldrnand more meetings, but the legislationrnwent through anyway. In response, thernshrimpers blockaded harbor entrances inrnan act of civil disobedience. Public sympathyrnwas with the environmentalists.rnThe government has claimed victory,rnand yet both the turtles and the fishermenrnare languishing. It is a tangledrnmess, what we in the shrimping businessrnused to call a “Gaum”: when the netrncame up wrapped around both “doors,”rnand the whole was soaked in mud. Thernconflict does, indeed, seem to have a lifernof its own.rnThe authors have done a serviceablernjob of assembling data, and the concludingrnessays are excellent. Here we learn:rnone, how environmental groups tend tornpick out winnable projects that bring inrnpublic support and funds (saving turtlesrnis simpler than cleaning up our air andrnwater, and much more likely to gain corporaternsupport); two, how two governmentrnagencies are both supporting andrnopposing the shrimpers; three, how thernreal dangers to the shrimpers are recreationalrnfishermen and a spate of condosrnand tourists that will soon reduce thernCajun community to relics of local color;rnand four, how the post-Civil War Southrnhas been manipulated by foreign urbanrn(Yankee) capital, to which an analogyrncan be drawn with English game lawsrnand the survival of “common folks.”rnHistorically, when a sophisticated andrnwealthy elite comes seeking recreation,rnthe working-class natives are in for arnrough time.rnThis is an insightful and well-writtenrnbook. As a resident of a small shrimpingrncommunity (Atlantic coast version), I oftenrnfound myself nodding along andrnmuttering internally, “Yes, that’s so.”rnStill, the early chapters are barely linkedrnto each other. A nonacademic approachrnto the same material would have concentratedrnon a single Cajun community, orrnon one shrimper like Tee John, “the Jesusrnof Shrimpers,” and traced the actions uprnto the dramatic blockade. That sort ofrnnarrative technique is more likely to getrnthe reader to finish the book, while stillrnconveying its point.rnWilliam Baldwin was a longtimernshrimper, and his father, a wildlifernbiologist, did the first study of the loggerheadrn(sea) turtle. His new novel is ThernFennel Family Papers (Algonquin).rnHelp Us Fight To SavernOur American Heritage!rnSouthern heritage is a part of American heritage butrn”civil rights” groups want to remove ALL Confederate symbolsrnfrom public property. Join HPA today and help us fightrnpolitical correctness and cultural bigotry against the South.rnHeritage Preservation AssociationrnHPA is a nonprofit, national membership organization that utilizesrneducational resources along with political ana legal action to protectrnSouthern symbols, Southern history, and Southern culture.rnAnnual dues of $39.95 include: HPA membership ‘^rncard, bi-monthly newsletter, quarterly reports,rnConfederate Shopper’s Club^*^ and the Heritage-DBS’^rncomputer system. Mention this ad to save 10%rn{VISA, Mastercard, AMEX)rnTo join by phone or request free information, callrn800-86’DIXIErnHPA • P.O. Box 98209 • Atlanta, GA 30359rn(404) 928-2714 • Fax (404) 928-2719rnJUNE 1996/41rnrnrn