Protect Sharks and Rays in Hawaiian Waters
This petition had 10,135 supporters
Please join the ocean advocates at One Ocean Diving and Keiko Conservation in conserving Hawaii's vital marine predators by signing this petition in support of bill SB2079 relating to shark and ray protection in the state of Hawaii.
Sharks and rays are extremely important to ocean ecosystems. As ocean predators near the top of the food chain, sharks keep the ecosystem balanced, regulate populations of other marine life, and ensure healthy fish stock and reefs. Sharks and rays are more vulnerable than most other fish species. They are long-lived and slow-growing, start reproducing at an advanced age, and produce relatively few offspring per year. If the food chain is disrupted by a decline in the shark population, it affects the entire ocean ecosystem, known as a trophic cascade. Protection for sharks and rays ultimately means healthier, more resilient oceans and reefs that are better able to withstand other pressures on the ocean ecosystem from climate change and pollution.
Sharks and rays not only play important ecological roles but are also valued figures in Hawaiian culture and are important economically to ocean recreation industries and to tourism in Hawaii. Sharks or manō are regarded in high honor as Hawaiian ʻaumakua or family guardians and ancestors. These figures are deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture and are known to provide protection for native Hawaiians. To defend and seek to spend time with these animals is a cultural right in Hawaii.
The benefits of maintaining viable populations greatly outweigh any value that would be gained by killing these species.
This petition will be shared with Hawaii state house and legislative committees. You can send in your own written testimony at capitol.hawaii.gov in support of SB2079 by Feb. 12, 2018. Please sign and share this petition with as many people as you can. Please follow @oneoceandiving @keiko_conservation and the affiliated organizations for updates on this bill and more ways to help and get involved.
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