Start a Shark Stewards Movement
Do you want to be able to engage your community in the fight to end shark finning but don't know where to begin?
Taking a page from the books of successful land-based activism, Shark Stewards is helping start a “Kelp Roots” ocean campaign to protect sharks.
As part of the Shark FIN-Free campaign, volunteers can sign up groups or individuals within your community to pledge themselves to shark protection by helping ban shark fins locally or supporting regional or statewide bans. This downloadable document reflects the Shark Steward’s online FIN-FreeTool kit for those with limited web access. .
Why Shark Fin Free?
The numbers of overfishing of sharks and shark finning are compelling enough. Most people are unaware of the plight of sharks or their importance to our ocean ecosystems. Dr. Shelly Clarke estimated 28-73 million with an average of 38 million sharks killed each year to supply the fin trade alone. The current rate of shark fishing and finning to supply the shark fin trade is unsustainable.
Too many sharks are dying. The practice of finning is cruel, wasteful and is destroying the balance of ocean ecosystems.
1. Become a Shark Fin Leader
Form a group to motivate shark finning awareness and shark fin trade bans. Use this and the more extensive online toolkit to spark awareness and drive legislation banning the shark fin trade.
2. Give a Presentation to the Community or Leadership
Engage decision makers and FIN-Free leaders with an educational and entertaining Shark Stewards slide and video presentation. Present the facts, plead our case and ask for support. To set up or give a Shark Stewards presentation and email us at [email protected] for a copy and pointers on giving a presentation.
3. Start a FIN-Free online Petition.
Sign and support one of our Shark FIN-Free petitions to legislators specific to region to introduce or support FIN-free.
Use a Hard Copy to collect Signatures and addresses in your area.
Target: Governor Rick Perry and the Texas State Legislature
Sponsored by: Shark Stewards Texas, a Project of Shark Stewards.org
- The continuing practice of shark finning, which is the inhumane practice of removing the fins and discarding the remainder of the shark back into the sea, is having a devastating effect on shark species around the world.
- The practice of shark finning results in tens of millions of sharks a year being killed for their fins alone.
-Over one-third of all oceanic shark species are threatened with extinction as a result of shark finning.
- Apex predators such as sharks play a critical role in maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems; something that is necessary for the long term survival of our own species.
- Shark fins have no significant nutritional value and are considered unhealthy for human consumption due to the accumulation of mercury and other toxins in fins and flesh.
- 99% of Oceanic Whitetip Sharks and 90% of Silky Sharks are gone from the Gulf of Mexico and sharks are being poached from State waters and in the Gulf to supply the shark fin trade.
- A poll among Chinese Americans indicates a large majority are in favor of a shark fin ban.
- Measures must be taken to stop the global practice of shark finning and to ensure the responsible conservation and management of sharks.
Therefore, we the undersigned call upon the Governor and Legislature of the State of Texas to ban the possession, sale and consumption of shark fins in the State of Texas.
Signed Name Address email
David McGuire David McGuire PO Box 370 Forest Knolls CA 94950 [email protected]
· Hard copies engage people directly and collect real signatures.
· For voter initiatives like shark fin bans, physical addresses are needed to engage voter power .
4. Social Networking: Start a Facebook page like the Texas Chapter http://www.facebook.com/SharkStewardsTexas,
“ Like” Shark Stewards
And other movement’s causes. Tweet and reTweet Our Shark tweets,
Expand your network to other sites. Be Creative!
5. Create an Online Petition using consistent language with a cover statement
Example 1, Original San Francisco Petition, 2006 on Change.org
Mayor Newsome and Board of Supervisors, City of San Francisco
Each year tens of millions of sharks are being killed for their fins alone in the practice called shark finning, and as bycatch in industrial longline fishing. These are unsustainable practices and populations of sharks cannot endure this pressure. The growing market demand generated by shark fins for soup and other shark products are the tipping point for ocean ecosystem stability. Sharks are essential members of a healthy ocean.
With its large and relatively affluent community, San Francisco is a significant consumer of shark fin soup. Without any certifiable sourcing, consumers of fins in shark fin soup and in the dried fish markets are unwittingly responsible for creating a serious imbalance in our ocean ecosystems.
We hereby petition that the Mayor and Supervisors proclaim a ban on shark fins and shark fin products in the City and County of San Francisco, promote Shark Sanctuary San Francisco and help develop solutions for sustainable seafood practices.
Example 2, Illinois Chapter Active Petition on Petionsite.com
6. Use the FIN Free Fact Sheet (pdf) to educate others and provide a factual argument.
Key Talking Points are on the petition and petition cover above.
Others, including citations are available on the Shark Stewards website under finning.
7. Write a Letter to Lawmakers in Support of Legislation (Example- Active New York Campaign)
I am writing to support S6431 and A.7707a which would protect global shark populations by banning the possession, sale, offering for sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins in the state of New York. In recent decades, some shark populations have decreased by more than 90%, largely as a result of direct fishing. Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed for their fins to fulfill the demand for shark fin soup. Because sharks are top predators, removing sharks from ocean ecosystems can destabilize the ocean food web and lead to negative environmental and economic effects. Sharks keep ecosystems healthy by preying on the sick and the weak, which prevents disease and leads to healthier fishes. Sharks also prevent prey populations from growing too quickly, which leads to the damage of corals reefs and seagrass beds.
While shark finning is illegal in the U.S., the trading of shark fins is not and the consumption of shark fin soup continues. The demand for fins as an ingredient in shark fin soup contributes to shark finning, a wasteful and cruel practice that is endangering numerous shark populations around the world.
This bill will reduce pressure on shark populations globally by ending the demand for shark fins in New York. Similar bans have already been enacted in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California and are now being considered in various East Coast states. I strongly urge you to sponsor this important legislation.
8. Collect Mail in Postcards Supporting the Cause
Example Post Card : Active Illinois Shark Fin Campaign (passed House and Senate)
9. Develop Critical Partners in the Chinese or Asian Community who care about the ocean.
Encourage influential groups to be engaged in the abolishment of shark finning. Asian Pacific Islanders are typically strong advocates for sharks.
Church or Community Groups can help partner or identify leaders in the Asian American Ocean Community.
10. Identify Restaurants selling shark fin soup in your area.
· List them on your web site or Facebook Page.
· Ask them to stop selling shark fin soup.
· Yelp them with an educational review about shark finning and shark fin soup
· Boycott restaurants that serve shark fin soup.
11. Table at Events. Events are a great way to get out and promote the cause of saving sharks.
· Create your own event like a shark fair, a World Oceans Day Celebration, a film screening, or participate in existing events.
· If there is a local event, see if you can set up a table with information about the cause.
· Answer people's questions and have them sign the petition
· Take the fin free pledge and build the movement
12. Support the FIN-Free campaign by leading a fundraiser for sharks, or donate to our cause.
Letter to the Editor
Letter to Legislator
Scientific Justification Letter
Example Coalition Letter (pdf)
Asian Organization Sign-on APAOHA from CA AB 376 Bill (pdf)
Example of Legislation SB2169_ Hawaii (pdf)
Example Support Letter From Fishermen
Survey Form Chinatown Shark Fin Form Shark Fin (pdf)
Shark Fin Soup Sharks Chinese Factsheet (pdf)
Example of AB 376 – Draft postcards to Legislators (pdf)
Sign-on Letter from Supporting Groups
More Downloads at www.sharkstewards.org
14. We Will Help You Succeed!
If you have problems, solutions or need more tools Contact us.
This is a work in progress. Translations into Chinese and media will be made available at www.sharkstewards.org