Part V: How to Get Involved: Sample Letter

This example is purely hypothetical – the Council does not manage giant squid. Not all of the elements here are required (the sample is more complex than most letters), but you can use these ideas to design your letters and testimony to the Council.

August 11, 2020 Send the letter more than two weeks before the next Council meeting so it can be included in the briefing book. If possible, type the letter and print it out on letterhead, or send a PDF to the Council.
Mr. Phil Anderson
Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, Oregon 97220-1384

Dear Chair Anderson:
Address the letter to the right person; use a respectful greeting.
I am writing on behalf of the Bay Area Giant Squid Supporters (BAGSS), a nonprofit organization with 8000 members, to express our concern that giant squid (Architeuthis dux) are not included in the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s proposed Sea Creature Fishery Management Plan (SCFMP). If you represent an organization, be sure to say how many members it has. Refer to the fishery management plan or rule that you are commenting on.
We urge the Council to include giant squid in the SCFMP. State your desire clearly. Make sure that you are asking for something that falls within the Council’s mandate.
My father was a giant squid fisherman, and from an early age I helped him on his boat. Later, as a founder of BAGSS, I made the study of giant squid my life’s work. In 2013 I conducted a comprehensive assessment of giant squid in northern California for the National Giant Squid Association (Lattimer 2013). Give some background about your expertise and experience. Include references if available.
The assessment clearly showed that these mysterious and beautiful creatures play an important role in California’s coastal ecosystem, particularly in regard to their symbiotic relationship with yelloweye rockfish. Connect the issue to other important issues facing the Council.
A brief summary of the assessment’s findings is attached. Provide supplemental information if it is relevant, but keep it brief.
In May 2013, I sent a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service on behalf of BAGSS expressing our concern that NMFS was ignoring giant squid. Provide a short history of your involvement with this issue.
The letter echoed many of the concerns presented in the lawsuit filed by the Squid Supporters of Hawaii (SQUISH). The decision in the SQUISH lawsuit is scheduled for November 2016 and is likely to bring giant squid to the foreground of fisheries management issues. Demonstrate knowledge of other factors that are influencing the issue.
National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act states that “(2) Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.” We at BAGSS strongly believe that the 2013 assessment of giant squid represents the best scientific information available on these animals, and should be considered in the SCFMP. Connect your concern to the National Standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
In closing, BAGSS would like to respectfully recommend that the Council immediately create a committee to consider including giant squid in the FMP. I would be happy to serve upon such a committee and make my knowledge of giant squid available to the Council. Re-state your argument at the end with more detail, if desired. Suggest a constructive step for the Council to take. Volunteer your services, if possible and relevant.
We appreciate the opportunity to comment. If you have any questions about this important matter, please contact me at (503) 820-2280. Close respectfully. Provide a way for the Council to get more information if they wish.

Julio Lattimer
2243 Ink Avenue
Calamari, CA 89431
Sign your name and give your address.

2013. Lattimer, Julio. A Comprehensive Assessment of Architeuthis dux. Calamari, CA: National Giant Squid Association.
Include complete references if you referred to them in the letter.
Attachment: Assessment highlights (2 pp.) Don’t forget the attachment.