Friday, March 26, 2010

Hawaii - Shark Conservation!

Speaking of effective Conservation.
Did somebody say: regional efforts?

Stefanie in Oahu has been campaigning relentlessly for pro-Shark legislation.
As per the following, she is only inches away from success.

Please extend all the help you can!

Hi everyone, The nearly impossible happened today.

After days of struggling we were nearly defeated.
It seemed the shark finning bill had completely stalled and was going to die a horrible death because the committee chair didn't want to give it a hearing.

But thanks to an overwhelming amount of letters and phone calls to the legislature, the committee chair has changed his mind and has added bill 2169 to the meeting next tuesday!

This is awesome news, because we are back in the game and will now have a way to continue the fight.

So THANK YOU to all of you who responded so quickly and wrote letters to Karamatsu's office.
It worked!

We can now lay off him and concentrate on the hearing.
Please hang in there with me. We are sooooo close to making this happen.

If this bill goes through, we will have been part of ground breaking legislature for the protection of sharks. This will make a difference not only in Hawaii. It will also help federal legislation in the US and will set a precedent that many countries can refer to or use as an example. How exciting would it be to have Hawaii as a brave little state that dared to pass something that nobody else would or could!?

So here is the plan:
We need EVERYONE's testimony ONE MORE TIME. (None of the previous letters will be going to this hearing, so you can re use what you wrote before)
We have to come in with an overwhelming force of support, both in written testimony and in people attending the hearing.

If you live on Oahu, please consider taking part in this hearing.

It will be at the State Capitol, Conference Room 325 (3rd floor), 415 South Beretania Street on Tuesday, March 30, at 2:30 pm We can assemble in the hall way outside the conference room. Call me if you need more directions (778-6740). There is limited parking in the basement (entrance on Punchbowl St, right across from Queens
hospital) or at the Queen Emma Palace, or street side parking around the neighborhood. Either place, you will need lots of quarters to fill the meters.

You also have to submit written testimony 24 hrs in advance if you want to speak.
But you don't have to speak if you don't want to. When they call your name at the hearing you can simply say "I stand on my written testimony", that way they will know that you have nothing else to say, but that you are there to support the bill in person. As a matter of fact, the committee does not want someone to get up and read the same letter that they had already submitted. I usually cover the logical and boring points in the written testimony and then try to cover an angle that someone else isn't likely to bring up when I get a chance to speak. We want to try to cover many different points of view.

I have no delusions that this hearing will be easy, because we know that there is opposition in the House leadership that has tried to influence this committee to stall the bill.
But if we have an overwhelming majority in support, then they will hopefully have to pass it out of this last committee. After that there will be a few more steps, but this one hearing is where we can have our last and most powerful influence to pass this bill into law.

So please send in written testimony before Monday morning to the following address:

Testimony for:

Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, Chair Rep. Ken Ito, Vice Chair
DATE:Tuesday, March 30, 2010
TIME:2:30 p.m.
RE: IN SUPPORT of Measure SB2169, SD2, HD2 Relating to Shark Fins

Thank you

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