Congressman Sam Farr was there
26 Mar 2009
John Harder reported to the board of directors on the "Blue Vision Summit" held in Washington DC. He was shocked to know how many different organizations that were involved in helping our Oceans. Although almost all of the organizations had there focus on regional areas, there was some input on saving the coral across the ocean. The same impression was observed as on the beaches of Monterey. People have no idea that Driftnets are still out there. It was almost as if we were making this all up. There was a good presentation on how some seafood markets are only supplying sustainable seafood, but even they were not going as far as demanding certified sustainable, such as MSC labels. Many other small organizations were there at the summit for the same reasons we were, & that was looking for funding. John thought it best to take contact information & pursue grant opportunities at a later date. John got a chance to meet with Sam Farr, our Congressman, & Senator Boxer's aid. John passed on our letter, petitions, & reports.
All in all, the summit was a great learning experience for John as to how our government works. John states that this kind of work needs constant attention to get things done. If only we had a representative based in DC just for this kind of thing.
Dear Congressman Sam Farr, 3/4/09
Ocean Friends Against Driftnets would 1st like to thank you for all you do for our state & country. We owe much to your work in Congress. Also thanks for giving us the opportunity to meet with you & Alec regarding our concern about drift net fishing. We are still waiting to hear back from the US Coast Guard regarding obtaining pictures related to my reports in 05’ & 06’. I highly doubt we will get them without some kind of help.
Included with this letter are copies of signed letters from 116 Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit holders registered with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), as you suggested. I hope to collect more, but is still more than we expected. All fishermen state that Driftnets are threatening there “existing fishery”. Please file these letters for your records. As these letters are confidential,I ask that you do not publicize them in any way that will expose, or incriminate them. Some would like to remain anonymous, as there will be conflict among fishermen.
I hope & pray YOU can do something to help us, & the ocean in this regard. The ocean can NOT take any more abuse!
We wish you & the Ocean best of luck with “Ocean 21”!!
Kind regards, John Harder (founder/president of OFAD)
P.O. Box 364 Monterey, CA 93942 Phone: (831) 320-2805 E-mail: email@example.com