Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hawaii - Rep Riki Karamatsu in bed with the shark fin industry?

Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu for Lieutenant Governor not for Sharks

We thought things were going well in reference to the ban on shark finning - but apparently there has been a setback being led by one man - a politician: Riki Karamatsu.  The guys over at Shark Diver having been reporting about the situation in Hawaii and have written a pretty detailed post on Karamatsu:

"He is a politician.

He has been charged and convicted with drunk driving resulting in a crash.

He is currently running for Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii.

This man also hates sharks.

Enough to actively work against a new shark fin bill making the rounds through the hallowed halls of Hawaii's legislative offices.

Why is he doing this?

What can you do about it?

The answer to the first question is money. Riki Karamatsu is the patron of several well heeled shark fin businesses in Hawaii, businesses that sell thousands of tons of dried shark fin to Asia.

Currently the cost of shark fin is hovering at 1980's gold price levels. The shark fin industry is a multi-billion dollar global industry. It is also one of the most barbaric animal cruelty issues the conservation world is dealing with now. Akin to sedated wild bears and gall bladder secretions, a wild animal product that is as equally disturbing and one that has no place in Hawaii's business trading community.

So, what can you do about it?

Here is the list of contacts for Jon Riki Karamatsu. Your voice, in your own words, may help this man realize how many people care about sharks and how sometimes, being the patron of people whose business depends on shearing the fins off live animals for a soup a bad career choice.

You can also tweet, blog, and re post this far and wide.

Let's send a clear and unambiguous message to Jon Riki Karamatsu.

"Mr.Karamatsu if you want to see your political career continue, get on the side of millions of people who care about our oceans, and our wildlife. Stop your solo attempts to block or modify legislation that would put and end to shark fin sales in Hawaii."

Note: Do not send threatening or abusive emails, phone calls or letters. You are entitled to use words that describe disgust, distaste, you are entitled to detail how you will support his opponent in his race for the Lieutenant Governor seat in Hawaii. You are also entitled to mention the fact that this man, who would aspire to the higher levels of government, was once so intoxicated he drove his car off the road.

Is this the man who should be leading Hawaii into the new decade?

For the many thousands of sharks that are currently being finned just outside the territorial waters of Hawaii the answer to that question is clearly no.


Jon Riki Karamatsu - Blog

Jon Riki Karamatsu -

Jon Riki Karamatsu - Democratic Offices

Jon Riki Karamatsu - Facebook"

Go at it and let Riki know how you feel about shark finning... 


Anonymous said...

You know, I have a lot of respect for what you guys are working on for sure but sharks are incredibly powerful and beautiful animals and we should give Jon Riki Karamatsu the same respect that we hope he will give to the sharks. It's important that everyone tries to spread the word about this and contact his office but it's not okay to exploit something such as a drunk driving incident to make a gain over someone - he's publicly confessed to this and it's obviously brought some rain into his life. If we want to protect the sharks we need to be promoting positivity about their species, not negativity about other people. It will only give him something to be mad at all of us about - why not try to make a friend in him.

Anyway guys, thanks for his contact info, keep it up.

Shark Diver said...

Because the mans name happens to the Riki Karamatsu does not mean he is owed anyone's "respect."

Respect is "earned," both by good deeds and with good policy making.

Being drunk at the wheel and a politician is a first strike that stays with you like a painful brand for the rest of your career, you never fully atone for it.

His political opponent knows that.

So it boggles the imagination that Riki Karamatsu would make such a stunningly bad political choice as to stand with businesses that make a living from the dismemberment of live animals.

Seriously, you want to talk about respect for this man?

He has attracted anger, ire, rage, disgust, and distaste from many in the conservation world and thanks be to the Internet will attract a lot more.

That we would dare to mention the man was once recently so drunk he plowed his vehicle into the side of the highway median is an attempt to have people understand that this man makes critically bad decisions, both in life and now as a politician.

Try and make a friend of him?

This man has no friends in the conservation world at the moment but he does have a choice. Come over the the light and see how his support of shark finning is inherently flawed and wrong.

By doing this Riki Karamatsu will discover he has all the green conservation minded friends in the world.

Who knows, he might even "earn" some that respect you think he is owed.

blumon said...

I wonder where the man's loyalty lies. We all know that the Japanese are actively pursuing the total destruction of our ocean resources. Hawaii is a sort of portal to Japan from the US. Is it possible that we have a man - a public figure charged with the responsibility to act in the best interests of a US state utilizing his position and benefiting financially, in the quest by Japanese government and corporate fishing interests to gobble up all oceanic resources while they can. Japanese people are subservient as a nation to authority - government and corporations - they do not behave consciously outside the parameters of what the 'authorities' dictate believing that whatever the powers dictate is what is best for them.It may be that our garden state of Hawaii is /has fallen into a realm of unknowingly serving Japanese interests.
I know for sure that true Hawaiians would never allow the wholesale slaughter and abuse of sharks ... it would be a major insult to their ancestors and a direct violation of the 'mana' of their 'amakua'. Where are the true Hawaiians in this story and why are they allowing this to happen on the very doorstep of the culture that they are attempting to revive? Why would they allow a man who hates sharks to rule over them and over rule in an extreme way the very root of their culture? Where's the 'aloha'?