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NFC: Fw: EDF_Action_Network alert: Stop Shark Finning in U.S. Waters

Here's what this alert is about:

Stop Shark Finning in U.S. Waters


You've received action alerts from us in the past requesting 
your help to put an end to "shark finning" -- the cruel and 
destructive practice of cutting off a shark's fins and 
dumping its dead or dying carcass overboard. Some 60,000 
blue sharks are finned each year, in almost complete 
ignorance of the potential impacts of this practice on the 
blue shark population or on the marine ecosystems of which 
sharks are an integral part.

Thanks in large part to your efforts, the Hawaii legislature 
has passed legislation that will ban shark-finning in state 
waters (if the Governor signs it), and now the National 
Marine Fisheries Service is now considering a petition to 
ban shark-finning in all U.S. waters.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is being 
lobbied heavily by fishing industry interests to deny the 
petition and defer to a decision by the Western Pacific 
Fishery Management Council to limit shark mortality to 
50,000 per year.  In our view, that is simply too weak and 
not justified in light of our profound ignorance of the 
impacts of killing that many sharks every year.

The voice of the public needs to heard!  Please express your 
support for a total ban on shark-finning to NMFS by May 12, 
2000, their deadline for receiving comments.


If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this
alert by going to the following URL:


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We STRONGLY encourage you to make edits directly to our sample letter 
below, and put the alert talking points into your own words. An 
individualized letter is worth ten computer generated letters. Of 
course, hundreds of unedited letters will still create a large impact, 
so please reply even if you don't have time to personalize the letter.

Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Dr. Charles Karnella


I am writing to express my strong support for the Western 
Pacific Fisheries Coalition petition to ban shark-finning.

Long-line fishermen based in Hawaii killed over 100,000  
sharks last year.  Most of these were oceanic blue sharks.  
Almost all were killed for their fins alone, which are used 
to make shark-fin soup.  Between 90 and 95% of the shark is 

Most sharks are very vulnerable to overexploitation due to 
their long lives and low reproductive rates. While 
proponents of shark finning claim that blue sharks are 
highly productive, the latest scientific information 
indicates that blue shark productivity is low to moderate.  
There is almost no information on the impacts of the shark 
catch on the sustainability of shark populations and their 
marine biological communities.  The Western Pacific Fishery 
Management Council recently voted to allow the killing of  
50,000 sharks a year.  It is irresponsible to kill that many 
sharks based on so little information.

Shark fins are sold on the black market on a cash-only 
basis, generating no tax revenue for the state or federal 
governments.  Crew are allowed to fin sharks and keep the 
profits, in part to make up for low wages.  This is a cost 
of business that should be borne by captains, vessel owners, 
and legitimate fisheries, not by the sharks.

I therefore urge you to grant the Western Pacific Fisheries 
Coalition petition to ban shark-finning.  It would both 
implement the precautionary approach and minimize waste, 
achieving two important fisheries management goals.  It 
would also show respect and concern for this magnificent top 
predator of the sea.

-------END OF LETTER-------------------------

Sincerely yours,

robert rice
2213 prytania circle
prytania circle
navaree, FL 32566

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