Victory

President Obama: Protect Sharks by Expanding Papahanaumokuakea #GoBigObama #ExpandPMNM

43,062
Supporters

I am a surfer, photographer, and shark attack survivor from the island of Kaua'i. I am passionate about marine conservation, particularly what's going on with shark conservation and the rapid decline of shark stocks worldwide.  I also feel a calling to help others overcome adversity, and enjoy being an outreach to other amputees and the adaptive/disabled community.

It's insane the amount of sharks needlessly killed, about 100 million a year. It is a completely unsustainable rate considering extinction is forever. As an apex predator, they play a invaluable role in our marine ecosystem.  We need our oceans to be living and functioning, or our lives, regardless of on land or water, will become greatly affected over time.

As a fellow "island boy," President Barack Obama knows the importance of Aloha 'Aina (love of the land) and he has done a lot for sharks since he took office.  He signed the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 and has created huge marine protected areas in the Central Pacific that protect all species.  

The president has only a few more months left in office and there's a few more things he can do to protect threatened shark species here in Hawaii.  Please sign this petition to ask President Obama to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument as proposed by prominent members of the Native Hawaiian community.

In the Pacific, oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) and silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis), highly migratory species that were once categorized as two of the most abundant species of large marine animals, have declined significantly. Populations of these species have dropped to such low levels that fishing vessels are now prohibited from retaining them.  Despite this ban both species are still incidentally caught and killed on longlines in Hawaiian waters. Since the monument is within the core habitat for both oceanic whitetip and silky shark, an expanded protected area from fishing can ensure that populations of these vulnerable sharks are safeguarded.

Research also shows that habitats within the existing monument support abundant Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinus galapagensis), tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier), and grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhinchos).  These species, and others, have been shown to travel to the area of the proposed monument expansion.  For example, a combination of fishing data and satellite and acoustic telemetry revealed tiger sharks swim thousands of kilometers along the Hawaiian chain and out into the open ocean, with individuals found more than 600 kilometers offshore. 

By increasing the size of Papahanaumokuakea, these resident species, and other highly migratory sharks that frequent these waters can be protected. The value of large protected areas to sharks has been demonstrated, and expanded protection in this area will be of benefit to multiple threatened shark species.

Please join me in encouraging President Obama to go big and expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument according to the proposal put forward by the Native Hawaiian community!  #GoBigObama #ExpandPMNM

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Mike Coots started this petition with a single signature, and won with 43,062 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.