Thursday, May 12, 2016

ACTION ALERT: Rob Stewart Joins Effort to Expand Papahanaumokuakea

Sharkwater and Revolution director and star Rob Stewart has joined the effort to protect sharks in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands by expanding the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. In just under two weeks, the petition started by surfer, photographer, and shark attack survivor Mike Coots has reached more than 35,000 signatures.


This has been one of the most viral petitions the Shark Defenders have worked on in our five year history. The petition to protect all of the sharks swimming inside the U.S. EEZ around the Northwest Hawaiian Islands kicked off with a post on Mike's very popular Instagram account, but very quickly gained traction on social media.

I am in dire need of your help. In the last 60 minutes, over 11,000 sharks were needlessly killed. This is hour after hour, day after day, year after year. We are on a very fast track to extinction, and extinction is forever. As president Obama has a few short months left in office, we are pushing him to leave a lasting legacy here in Hawai’i. Right now in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is a marine monument called Papahanaumokuakea. It is a safe area for fish to live undisturbed and reefs to exist as they have been for millions of years. Without having to painstakingly use Congress but with the ease of one pen stroke, Obama can expand the area protected to five times it size and will make Papahanaumokuakea the largest protected area in the world. It will truly be a marine reserve of historic proportions, something all of us will be proud of. Navigator Nainoa Thompson is quoted as saying this expansion will be a gift to the children of the Earth. Fish will have time to mature before spawning, seabeds will be unmolested by mineral mining, and nature will thrive like nature intended. This safe haven will allow fish to get bigger and older. When a female fish doubles her size, her egg production can increase a thousand fold. Fisherman in Hawaii will love this as there will be more spillover of bigger fish in our coastal waters. A protected area of this magnitude will change the health of the entire Pacific ocean for the better. Sharks are very often caught by longliners who’s thousands of hooks indiscrimanatly catch everything that swims in the deep blue. With 47 million of these longline hooks set last year in Hawaii, this is a awful lot of sharks. I have a link in my bio with a very quick way to show your support to the president for the expansion. This is a moment in time that could be a pivotal point for the future of our oceans health. Something we will look back on as a proud step to helping stop the hemorrhaging of Earth most irreplaceable species. I really believe a marine reserve of this scale will save life both under and above water. And we need your help now. Lets be stewards today for what we leave to our children tomorrow. Thank you! 📷Jeff Rotman

A photo posted by Mike Coots (@mikecoots) on

Then when Mike shared it on his Facebook wall, more than 170 people (as of this writing) shared it on their walls:

Hundreds and perhaps thousands of you have helped send this petition around the world. Please keep up the good work, and sign, share, tweet, and post the petition all across the Internet!


Just the other day, American actor Sean Faris shared the petition with his 67,000 followers on Twitter:

Barack Obama: Protect Threatened Sharks in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands - Sign the Petition! via @Change

— Sean Faris(@onlyseanfaris) May 9, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

27,000 Signatures in One Week!

According to an article in Civil Beat, the Obama administration sent a delegation to Hawaii this week to meet with stakeholders, including Native Hawaiians, scientists, local fishermen and the conservation community, who presented cultural and scientific evidence to support expanding the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to fully protect the cultural, historical, and biological significance of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

And guess what?  Mike Coots was one of the people asked to attend one of the sessions!

Mike personally handed your signatures to government officials representing the Obama administration!  There is still time to sign the petition and add your voice to the chorus calling for the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.  Please click here to sign the petition, and don't forget to share, tweet, and post it all across the Internet!
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