Marina, California. For California, this is a moment of truth. Will you retain your role as a global leader in ocean conservation and sustainable use? Or will you turn your back on the future of sharks and, in consequence, both the ocean and ourselves? Many organizations, advocates and plain ole’ regular Californians have been working throughout this year to push through a bill – AB 376, which would ban the shark fin trade in California. It has passed every hurdle of the State government process and now sits on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, waiting to be signed into law. But that was last week’s news. This week it sits collecting dust, while the Governor ponders whether it’s the best decision for California.
Meanwhile, 200,000 sharks a day are killed for soup and California is the biggest consumer of shark fins outside of Asia. Governor Brown needs to hear from you, as a tax-paying, voting Californian that the sale, trade, possession and consumption of shark fins is not a value you share. And even if you are not Californian, this issue is of such critical concern, the Governor should hear your voice as well.
Sharks are not just beautiful animals. They are the ocean’s top tier predators that keep the entire system in check. Everything we value from the ocean – it’s beauty, the oxygen we breath, the food we eat, the recreation it provides and the climate it holds stable, all goes back to sharks. They maintain the balance. We need them more than ever, and now they need us.
Check out this short video demonstrating the beauty of a shark and then read on to learn 10 ways you can contact Governor Jerry Brown and let him know you you want to AB 376 signed into law:
The 10 ways to get in touch with Governor Jerry Brown in support of AB 376:
1. E-mail the Governor.
Use this online form to send a personal e-mail to the Governor. Be sure to scroll down the subject list and pick “AB00376/Shark fins” as your topic, and remember to click “pro” when the “pro or con?” choice comes up. Tell him how much sharks mean to you. Or just send him a quick note that you’d like to see the bill signed. Here’s what I said to the Governor as an example of what you might write:
Please sign AB 376. As a Californian, I can’t think of anything more important than continuing to lead the world in areas of ocean conservation and sustainable use. Sharks are not just beautiful animals, but essential keystone species that maintain ecological balance via their top tier predation. The ocean is paramount to our planet’s stability, and thus our economy and national security. The ocean provides the air we breath, the climate we enjoy, fuels the productivity of our food webs, and provides countless hours of spiritual, economic and recreational enjoyment. Sharks keep this balance in check. We cannot allow ourselves to do them wrong at the risk of harming our own future. Please sign the bill.
Best, Arlo Hemphill
2. Call the Governor.
The phone number for the Governor’s office is (916) 445-2841. You likely won’t get through to the big guy himself, but request to speak to someone with authority to speak to you on AB 376. Double check and verify the person you are speaking to has such authority before you tell them your feelings on the topic. Make sure they take your name and your voting district so that this is passed on to the Governor. Prepare speaking points before you call or just leave them with the simple message “the signing of AB 376 is important to me”. The San Francisco BayKeeper has prepared these short talking points just for this purpose:
My name is [first and last name] from [city], California.
I am calling to urge Governor Brown to sign a bill that is very important for California’s environment and public health.
I want to urge the Governor to sign AB 376, which would ban the sale of shark fins in California. More than 70 million sharks are killed each year for their fins, and California is an important market for them. If we can set the bar higher here, we will go a long way toward protecting the top predators of our ocean and Bay ecosystems.
Thank you for your time.
3. Tweet the Governor.
Use Twitter? Send the Governor a tweet at: @JerryBrownGov. Twitter messages are short, so just say something like “@JerryBrownGov: I’m counting on you to sign AB 376 to stop the shark fin trade in California and protect the ocean!”. Or, simply retweet mine here.
Ways to Contact the Governor 4-10 represent ocean-caring organizations who’ve taken the time to put together pre-written letters and petitions that you can sign. Simply visit their websites, sign your name, and they’ll take care of the rest – reaching out to the Governor on your behalf!:
4. Contact the Governor with the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
5. Send your signature to California’s Senators with Shark Savers.
6. Send a message to the Governor with The Humane Society.
7. Send a message to the Governor with Ocean Conservancy.
8. Contact the Governor via Defenders of Wildlife.
9. Send a message to the Governor with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
10. Send a fax to the Governor via In Defense of Animals.
And thank you so much for your support on this historic and extremely important issue to protect the future of sharks and the ocean!
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