Send testimony to help protect Guam’s sharks!

The sharks of Guam need your help! Bill number 44-31, which would make selling or possessing shark fins illegal in Guam, was just introduced by members of the Senate. The Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the bill next Tuesday night Guam time, which is Monday night our time.

This bill is expected to face strong opposition from the fishing industry, which has a powerful voice.  However, you can help! You send a letter in support of this policy to Shark Defenders, and they will make sure that it gets into the right hands.  Many of the letters will be read out loud as testimony, and receiving a large number of letters in support of the law will be a big help!

Please send these letters to Info AT SharkDefenders DOT com by Monday afternoon U.S. East Coast time (sooner would be better).

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Shark Defenders requests that all letters include the following information:

“1. Your name.
2. Where you live.
3. Who you are and what you do.
4. Your reason for wanting to protect sharks.
5. A request to “please pass Bill No. 44-31 with no weakening amendments.”
6. Why not finish your letter saying something nice about Guam and the Pacific?”

They also list several possible reasons to support the law, though you are free to include whatever reason you want. Here are the suggestions:

“1. The IUCN Shark Specialist Group has found that 1/3 of all shark species are threatened or near threatened with extinction. Another 50% of species do not have enough data to determine their conservation status.
2. Sharks are slow growing, mature late, and produce few young, and biologically are not able to adapt to modern fishing pressures.
3. Sharks have been the ocean’s top predators for 400 millions years, but only in the last 50 have they become prey. Removing predators from ecosystems has cascading effects on lower trophic levels.
4. The practice of shark finning is inhumane and wasteful. It is like cutting down a coconut tree to get a single coconut.
5. Sharks are cool! As a society we’ve stopped killing the big predators on land, the biggest fish in the sea deserve the same protections.
6. Or maybe you have your own reason for wanting to protect sharks?”

Letters should be in the following format:

Honorable Rory J. Respicio
Majority Leader
Suite 302
155 Hesler St.
Hagåtña, Guam 96910

January 25, 2010

Dear Senator Respicio:

-Reasons for supporting the bill

-“Please pass Bill 44-31 with no weakening ammendments”

Sincerely yours,


Please take a few minutes to compose and send a letter, and please tell your friends!




  1. Sam · January 26, 2011

    As a territory of the U.S., why isn’t Guam held to the shark-finning restriction/ban law that the U.S. passed in the not-so-lame duck session? Is this a further restriction on shark finning?

    • WhySharksMatter · January 26, 2011

      The US Shark Conservation Act will apply to Guam. That bans removing shark fins at sea (but you still can on shore).

      This bill, similar to the one that passed in Hawaii last year, is stronger. It makes it illegal to posses or sell shark fins at all.

  2. Whysharksmatter · January 27, 2011

    This is actually separate from the CNMI law. For once there are actually multiple shark conservation laws being proposed simultaneously. We have until Monday to submit comments for Guam’s 44-31.

  3. FINFE · January 27, 2011

    La sauvegarde des requins est la sauvegarde de l’espèce humaine dans son ensemble comme tout ce qui concerne le règne animal. Sauvons la planète en préservant sa faune dans son entiereté
    arlette FINFE

  4. Bob Conroy · January 28, 2011

    We should only be killing animals through necessity, not greed. We are blessed with so many rare & wonderful creatures from all ends of the world. But we do little to protect them. Lets save these wonderful creatures from extinction, so that future generations get to marvel about them also.

  5. joanna saliba · January 29, 2011

    for the sake of our beautiful earth,
    for its struggle towards all change humans are conscious or not of,
    please let us restrain the harm
    and keep living as is manage its ecosystem,
    thank you

  6. Lana Patterson · January 29, 2011

    Add my name as a supporter. Sharks have a vital part to play in the ecology of the ocean.

  7. Sarah · January 29, 2011

    Sharks have been the ocean’s top predators for 400 millions years, but only in the last 50 have they become prey. Removing predators from ecosystems has cascading effects on lower trophic levels.

  8. WhySharksMatter · January 30, 2011

    Sigh… we go through this every time I post something asking people to send a letter in support of a shark conservation law.

    People, commenting on an online news story about a shark conservation law is not the same thing as actually sending testimony to the relevant authorities.

    I appreciate the enthusiasm, but please read the post for instructions on how to get your comments into the right hands.

  9. Prof Steve Oakley · January 31, 2011

    Great work well done!
    We are trying to prepare a white paper to persuade the Malaysian Government to amend the wildlife law to protect sharks. The copy of the Guam bill is great as a reference – does anyone have a copy of the bills or the subsequent laws for Hawaii, Palau or the Maldives.
    please send to
    borneo2008-sa at yahoo dot com


  10. renata schulz · February 9, 2011

    I´m Renata from São Paulo Brazil.
    How can I help you save the sharks?
    I have many friends in Japan and now I´m helping to divulge dolphins in Taiji Japan, The Cove.


    • Luciano · June 24, 2011

      Oi Renata, aqui é o Luciano (Kanazawa). Com vai? Me mande um e-mail no

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