Target: Alan D. Risenhoover National Marine Fisheries Service; Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries
Goal: Save the dusky shark from extinction by complying with federal fisheries management laws.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is risking the extinction of a threatened species because it has failed to comply with federal standards set up to protect dusky sharks for more than a decade. If they do not immediately begin compliance, the dusky sharks may be lost forever.
Dusky sharks are one of the largest sharks to inhabit the Atlantic Ocean. At nearly 12 feet and 400 pounds when full grown, these sharks inspire awe and fear, yet only a handful have ever attacked humans. Typically, they prey on rays, skates, and other sharks.
Despite their ability to live peaceably with humans, they’ve been “accidentally” fished nearly into oblivion. Thousands of these amazing creatures are caught annually on hooks and lines meant for catching snapper, tuna, grouper, swordfish, and other commercially sold ocean products.
The National Marine Fisheries Service was supposed to implement a cap on the number of dusky sharks killed by the fishing industry by 2010; they did not. They were also required to end overfishing of dusky sharks by 2008; they did not. Finally, they were required to implement protective measures to ensure the dusky shark population would return to a sustainable level; they have not.
Sign this petition to demand that the National Marine Fisheries Service immediately implement all missed measures and set a reasonable timeline for issuing protective measures and an enforcement plan.
Dear Mr. Risenhoover,
As the organization responsible for stewardship of the nation’s ocean resources and habitats, the National Marine Fisheries Service is failing one of our oceans’ critical predators. The dusky shark is critical for maintaining a balance in the ocean food web. Their numbers have so drastically declined that their continued existence is in doubt.
The National Marine Fisheries Service failed to meet federal requirements laid out in 2008 and 2010 and continues to ignore them. The organization has also failed to implement any protective measures despite an additional federal mandate that it do so. Overfishing and deaths as commercial fishing by-catch must be regulated and protective measures implemented and enforced to protect this necessary ocean predator. We demand the National Marine Fisheries Service take immediate action before it’s too late.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Happy Little Nomad