Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Contents: - New York fin ban signed - NMFS Action Alert! - Shark week - Happy Birthday
Hello fellow ocean lovers!
It's our great pleasure to share that Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York's shark fin ban (A.1769b/S.1711b) into law just last week (Friday, 26 July 2013). With California, Illinois, and now New York, all banning the sale, trade, possession, and distribution of shark fins, we've taken great steps to address the the top three markets in the United States.
COARE will continue working on effective policy in other places, with an emphasis on strong and meaningfully developed language. Next year's legislative session is going to be a good one for sharks and for reducing ocean-bound waste. Stay tuned!
NMFS Action Alert!
As we mentioned last month, a proposed rule by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), an Agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), threatens the viability of these shark fin bans.
At COARE, we're very concerned with NMFS's proposed rule because it seeks to preempt State laws. The Shark Conservation Act, as intended, is a good thing, but this proposal by NMFS must not be finalized with the current preemption language.
Another extension to the public comment period has been secured, so we'll ask you to take a few minutes, if you haven't already, to submit an official comment.
If you already know all you need to know about this issue, and can comment directly, please visit this link to register your comment, asking NMFS not to interfere with State shark fin bans: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0092-2066
Please feel free to use our Causes page to share this issue with your friends: http://www.causes.com/actions/1756983-protect-shark-fin-bans-from-being-overturned
To learn more about the issue, and for submission suggestions, please visit: http://www.coare.org/act/nmfs/
Comments must be received by NMFS no later than today (Wednesday, 31 July 2013), 23:59EDT (GMT -0400)
Your comments are CRITICAL, so even if you only write one or two sentences, it *will* make a difference!
One of the most watched and talked about series on television begins its 26th season this coming weekend. Five years ago, Shark Week was promoted as taking a different approach to help promote shark conservation, and we've been waiting a long time to see Discovery waver from their consistent maligning of sharks and nonstop efforts to instill and encourage fear in their viewers.
For these reasons, we've long had mixed feelings about Shark Week. On one hand, the sensationalized and fear inspiring segments, messages, and ideology, only cause sharks to continue to receive an undeserved reputation. On the other hand, Shark Week definitely gets people thinking about and talking about sharks, and that makes for fantastic teaching opportunities.
In fact, research has shown that on social networks people mention and discuss sharks (and oceans in general), more during and around Shark Week than at any other time of the year.
Last year, we were encouraged by some of the Shark Week programming, like the segment "Shark Fight", which was produced with conservation in mind. Our own Executive Director, one of the world's foremost experts in shark conservation legislation, appeared in both the U.S. and international versions of that segment.
Unfortunately, it seems that with a change in staff at Discovery, the focus on conservation is eclipsed this year again by more sensationalism. Whether or not Discovery turns towards more conservation-oriented messaging in the future, we encourage you to take advantage of the buzz, and insert yourself into those conversations, whether they're virtual or in-person. It's up to YOU to help set the facts straight.
Remember, you can always send people to our Shark Myths page at: http://coare.org/know/sharkmyths.php
We also now have a website shortcut to redirect to our "save sharks" page. This page includes information about current shark conservation efforts, how you can help, and it includes a link to the aforementioned Shark Myths page.
The URL for our new easy-to-remember shark conservation landing page is: http://coare.org/sharks
Our Founder and Executive Director is celebrating his birthday today, and we're using this opportunity to celebrate and look ahead to the next year.
Last year, we ran the *only successful* statewide sharkfins ban campaign, and this year, we assisted with and supported efforts in a number of other states. Unfortunately, all the statewide efforts that gained ground this year (Delaware, Maryland, and New York), took on some weakening exemption languague. We wished that we had could have been more intimately involved to help stave off such amendments.
Given the appropriate resources, we would happily turn more of our efforts and experience towards some of the other Statewide and Provincial efforts that could benefit from our guidance.
Please take advantage of his birthday wish to join our fight to put an end to shark fin soup. Check out the following link to view his personal message: http://www.causes.com/actions/1757001-help-protect-our-oceans-put-an-end-to-shark-fin-soup
Please lend a hand to save some fins.
Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends, family, and colleagues. If you received this newsletter second hand, we encourage you to subscribe directly by visiting our website.
Wishing you healthy oceans, Your friends at COARE
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