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In recent years there has been a positive change in the way we view sharks. More and more Floridians recognize sharks as magnificent creatures who are essential to the ocean ecosystem. Unfortunately, some people still need convincing. Each summer several shark killing tournaments take place in coastal communities in Florida. These cruel and senseless events contribute to the continuing decline in shark populations.

The 2nd Annual St. George Island Shark Fishing Tournament began yesterday. During the three-day event, the bodies of sharks will be brought to the docks and hung up for the amusement of the crowd.

Contact the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners and urge them to speak out against the tournament.

Commissioner Noah Lockley, Jr.: noah@franklincountyflorida.com
Commissioner Joseph Parrish: smokey@franklincountyflorida.com
Commissioner G. Russell Crofton: russell@franklincountyflorida.com
Commissioner Cheryl Sanders: cheryl@franklincountyflorida.com
Commissioner Bevin Putnal: bevin@franklincountyflorida.com

landshark.jpgThe month-long 2008 Shorebound Shark Tourney– during which participants fish from beaches, bridges and piers– also takes place during July. Although this tournament is “catch-and-release,” many of the sharks who are hooked and dragged out of the ocean die from their injuries after being released.

One of the sponsors of 2008 Shorebound Shark Tourney is Landshark Lager (brewed by the Margaritaville Brewing Co. in Jacksonville). Urge the company to end its support of shark-fishing tournaments.

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Finally, in August the Outcast Mega Shark Tournament will take place in Pensacola at Plaza de Luna (Pensacola’s newest public park).

Contact the City of Pensacola and let them know that the environmentally irresponsible tournament tarnishes the image of the city.

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