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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Urgent Action in Support of our relatives the Sharks!

Takahi Guaitiao:

We have just been alerted to an urgent action by the conservation group Oceana regarding the proposed Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (S. 850), which aims to end the brutal and unsustainable act of shark finning once and for all. As you may be aware, shark fins are considered a delicacy in Asia and these fins are commanding very high prices in Asia markets; resulting in a death sentence for our relatives the shark.

The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 would require sharks be landed with their fins attached, thus providing a true shark finning ban.

This bill has already passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting action in the Senate.

As Taino People we should all be well aware of the reverence our ancestors held for the shark. As such and considering our UCTP Declaration calls for us to "protect, defend, and preserve the Taino cultural heritage and spiritual tradition", we consider the support of the tiburon a responsibility.

Below we are providing a sample letter that we are requesting you consider copying, inputting your personal information, and sending to your State Senator.

The Confederation has already begun to send letters via its Liaison Officers but the more letters the Senators get the better.

Feel free to alter the sample letter to your style but the main point is to ask them to support bill S. 850.

If you don’t know how to contact your Senator, please visit the following site to get the contact information:

We say bo’matum in advance for your consideration and support.

Oma'bahari, nabori'daka,
Mukaro Agueibana


To: (Your State Senator)

Re: Please support the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (S. 850)

Takahi (Greetings) Hon. Senator ___________:

I would like to bring to your attention to the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 (S. 850), which is awaiting action in the U.S. Senate. This bill would require that sharks be landed with their fins still attached.

This bill constitutes a true ban on the unsustainable practice of shark finning and it would also solve enforcement issues as well as facilitate better data collection for use in stock assessments and quota monitoring. The bill would close a loophole on the transfer of fins at sea, which we have learned allows some bad actors to circumvent the current law. Additionally, the bill allows the U.S. to take actions against countries that have weaker protections for sharks.

In closing, I join my voice in solidarity with other concerned citizens, conservation organizations such as OCEANA, and the United Confederation of Taíno People in requesting that you support the bill S. 850, the Shark Conservation Act.

The sharks are depending on us and our present and future generations cannot afford to lose such a vital part of the world's living oceans.

Thank you in advance,

(Your name, address etc.)

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