Letters to the Editor

Correction: The Basses Rule

The New Hampshire Gentlemen New Hampshire Gentlemen founder Phil Walz '80 (back to camera) and fellow Gents serenade Shelagh Corbett Newton Michaud '95 at the group's 25th anniversary reunion in June.

The New Hampshire Gentlemen's 25th anniversary reunion (Spring 2004) certainly raised the bar. Looking around to see guys from the Class of '80 sharing traditions with guys from the Class of '05 is certainly a sign of success for this kind of alumni reunion. I would only remark that the statement "No one keeps track of who wins the softball 'grudge' matches" was overly diplomatic. In fact, the basses (as usual) pounded the tenors; this time it was 15-4. Better luck next year!

Postings on the Poster

You might be interested to know that my father, David deMoulpied '34, was the designer of the 1941 Winter Carnival poster (Spring 2004). A UNH Hall of Fame track star, he went on to own the Hardware Store in Durham for more than 35 years. He also designed a commissioned Cannon Mountain ski poster for their 1942 winter season. An original UNH poster and the Cannon poster hang in the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, N.H.

The caption to the Winter Carnival poster describes the skier as a "stalwart skier" and asks readers to note how he is ascending the mountain. He is actually a ski jumper who is climbing up the stairs of a ski jump.

Because of the article in the Spring 2004 issue, Charles Chandler '68 of Tilton, N.H., will donate his framed copy of the 1941 Winter Carnival poster when he retires. We are very appreciative to Mr. Chandler, to a number of other alumni who have contacted us with donations, and to UNH Magazine.

Lobsters: Food for Thought

It was extremely interesting and informative to learn that lobsters are indeed very complex creatures (Spring 2004). The research reveals that they are intelligent, graceful, responsive to their environment and socially interactive. What a disappointment that the article never addressed their horrific fate: confined to tanks, and then scalded or roasted alive. Does it not seem even more cruel, knowing that lobsters are not mere "bugs of the ocean"?

Win Watson's lobster research (Spring 2004) is exciting and informative. Your article, however, misleads your readers. Watson's observation—that only about 10 percent of lobsters entered the trap, and 6 percent of those were caught—does not tell us what proportion will be taken annually. Most lobsters are caught soon after they reach the legal minimum size, before many of them have had a chance to reproduce. Also, today's lobster traps are much more effective at catching lobsters than they were 20 to 30 years ago. Maine's coastal communities are heavily dependent on the lobster fishery. Current lobster fishery regulations reduce the economic benefits these communities could obtain and threaten their future.

Win Watson responds: Lobster populations are very difficult to determine experimentally. The assertion that most legal lobsters are captured each year is based on catch in traps; but we don't know how many never enter a trap. If the percentage of "uncatchable" lobsters is high, then trap data is ambiguous. In my research on the effect of water temperature on females, I am addressing the important point that we may be catching too many lobsters before they reach sexual maturity. Based on available data, the legal limit south of New Hampshire appears to be appropriate, while in some colder inshore and northern offshore areas it may be too small. It's not clear why the lobster fishery is doing well despite heavy fishing, but it may be due to the method used to catch lobsters combined with fairly effective management practices. Current regulations reduce profit, but they also prevent the collapse of the fishery.

Sustainability must be the guiding principle under which all 21st-century fishery policy is developed. After last summer's news of a global trend of collapsing fisheries (including the U.S.), the issue of sustainability will become critically important. After participating in UNH's EcoQuest program, I realize how little we understand of our natural world and its inhabitants, making forethought essential to good environmental policy. This is a very exciting time, when research by scientists like Win Watson will benefit generations to come.


I would like to praise you for the Spring 2004 edition. It was spectacular. The articles were such that I could not put the magazine down. My wife and I laughed our way though the "Crustaceans with Attitude" story. From the picture at the beginning to the attack lobster, it was a romp. The articles about personal acts of courage, again, were superlative, in-depth but not maudlin. The story about the Olympics increased my desire to watch these competitions. Are they better today than "yesterday?" Suki Casanave '86G made an excellent argument that they may be less harmful to the contestants today but certainly not as colorful. Kudos to all.