Thursday, April 29, 2010

Great News from Hawaii

Congratulations and a job well done to all the Shark fans in Hawaii. The herculean efforts by Stefanie Brendal of Shark Allies and numerous supporters has paid off with ground breaking shark conservation legislation being passed.

From Stef:

Hi everyone,

By now the news has traveled around the globe.

The vote was a unanimous "Yes" in the Senate. Then we received word that
 Rep. Karamatsu was walking the floor of the house trying to convince House
 members to vote "No".

It was very suspenseful the whole afternoon. We had to wait a long time for
 the bill to come up on the agenda. When it did, Karamatsu jumped up and
 grabbed the microphone and held a 15 min monolog on how bad this bill was,
 trying to convince everyone that all stakeholders were against this bill
 including the fishermen, DLNR, all Chinese, and of course that it would be 
bad for the ocean, because (I quote) "too little predators in the ocean 
aren't good, but too many aren't either", and then followed the typical 
explanation that we have to make sure that there aren't too many sharks
 because we will loose too many fish.... you get the idea!

Rep McKelvey was awesome. He stood up and countered all the lies with the 
truth. Rep Morita and Rep Belatti also stood up and countered the arguments. 
I had the distinct feeling that the members of the house were fed up with
Finally it came to the vote, and everyone voted "Yes" except for Karamatsu.
 There were a few members that said they had reservations and they would
 submit written comments, but they still voted "Yes". 

To say that I am relieved and happy is an under statement.
 It hasn't really sunk in though. For the rest of the day the feeling of
 resentment and shock about Karamatsu's behavior lingered on.

Now the bill is off to the Governor. We don't anticipate that she would veto 
the bill, but you never know. 
A veto could be overturned by a majority vote in the Senate and House.


On a side note: 
Royal Gardens Restaurant just took shark fin soup off their menu. The owner
 of this restaurant was also the owner of RC International, the company that 
had the container loads of fins at the harbor. The hidden camera footage I 
gave the news, of him peddling fins to a film crew, was so embarrassing to
 the owner that he has relocated the container and has taken soup off his 

Vicky Cayetano also made sure he knew that her and all her influential
 friends would go on a silent boycott of his establishment if he didn't stop
 his dealings.

Thank you for Tango Productions for letting me use the footage.

Thanks again to all of you for helping us make this happen.


Below is some media about the bill.

See Stefanie with some of her friends:

Shark Allies Trailer 2 from Mushy Kid on Vimeo.


Battle for survival at South East Farallon Island

The Ultimate Shark Dive