Council Guide: Sample Testimony

Testimony is limited to five minutes for individuals, or 10 minutes for group representatives. A yellow light means you are running out of time; a red light means you are out of time and should close your testimony.

Mr. Chairman and members of the Council, This is the greeting traditionally used to address the Council. If the Chair is female, use “Madam Chairwoman” or “Madam Chairperson.”
My name is Julio Lattimer. I represent the Bay Area Giant Squid Supporters (BAGSS), a nonprofit organization with 8,000 members. State your name for the record. If you represent an organization, be sure to say how many members it has
We would like to express our concern that giant squid are not being considered in the Council’s proposed Sea Creature Fishery Management Plan. Refer to the fishery management plan or rule that you are commenting on.
We urge the Council to include consideration of 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 spent his life fishing for giant squid, and from an early age I was impressed by these animals. As a founder of BAGSS, I have made the study of giant squid my life’s work. In 2003 I conducted a comprehensive assessment of giant squid in northern California for the National Giant Squid Association. Give some background about your expertise and experience.
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 yellowtail rockfish. Don’t be afraid to show a little passion and poetry, but don’t go overboard, either. Control any anger you might feel. Connect the issue to other important issues facing the Council.
Agenda Item B.7 in your briefing book gives a brief summary of the assessment. Provide supplemental information if it is relevant, but keep it brief. Be sure to send it two weeks or more before the Council meeting so it can be included in the briefing book.
In May 2006, 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 2010 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 2003 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.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Close respectfully.