The federal government has retreated from their attempt to overturn the shark fin trade ban in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In a letter dated December 16, 2014, Eileen Sobeck, NOAA assistant administrator for fisheries wrote "CNMI's law will have minimal impact on federally managed fishermen in CNMI...and is therefore consistent with and not preempted by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Shark Conservation Act of 2010."
We've written about this issue extensively over the last few years. Kudos to President Barack Obama and his officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as CNMI Governor Eloy Inos for coming to a compromise in the best interest of sharks.
And remember those amazing kids on Guam who are trying to uphold their law? Their law is still under threat and they still need your help. Below are a few ideas for you to help:
Use social media to get the attention of elected officials: Tweet at Guam Governor, Eddie Calvo (@governorcalvo), and post on U.S. Representative Madeline Bordallo’s Facebook page and ask them to stand up for Guam and our sharks by making sure that NOAA doesn’t wipe out our local shark protections.
Let NOAA know you want to preserve shark protections: Write to decision makers at NOAA and politely ask them to preserve our local conservation laws. You can email Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.
Write an email to local and national elected officials: Contact Guam Governor, Eddie Calvo and U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and ask them to fight to preserve our local shark protections.
Write a letter to the editor. Write a short (250 words or fewer) letter to your local newspaper to help spread the word about the threat to shark protection laws. If you need help with talking points, check out this blog.