Sample Testimony

Testimony is limited to five minutes for individuals, or 10 minutes for a group of 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.

This is the greeting traditionally used to address the Council. If the Chair is female, use "Madam Chair"...

Mr. Chair and members of the Council,

State your name for the record. If you represent an organization, be sure to say how many members it has.

My name is John Doe. I represent the North Florida Jellyfish Harvesters Association (NFJHA), a nonprofit organization with more than 8,000 members.

Refer to the fishery management plan or rule on which you are commenting.

We would like to express our concern that jellyfish are not being considered in the Council's proposed Sea Creature Fishery Management Plan.

State your desire clearly. Make sure you are asking for something that falls within the Council’s mandate.

We urge the Council to include consideration of jellyfish in the SCFMP.

Give some background about your expertise and experience.

My father spent his life fishing for jellyfish, and from an early age I was impressed by these animals. As a founder of NFJHA, I have made the study of jellyfish my life’s work. In 1996 I conducted a comprehensive assessment of jellyfish in northern Florida for the National Jellyfish Association.

Don’t be afraid to show a little passion and poetry, but don’t go overboard. Control any anger you may feel. Connect the issue to other important issues facing the Council.

The assessment clearly shows that this mysterious and beautiful creature plays an important role in Florida's coastal ecosystem, particularly with regard to its symbiotic relationship with the horseshoe crab.

Provide supplemental information when relevant, but keep it brief. Be sure to send relevant material at least two weeks prior the Council meeting so it may be included in the briefing book.

Exhibit B.7 in your briefing book gives a brief summary of the assessment.

Provide a short history of your involvement with this issue.

In May 2000, I sent a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service on behalf of NFJHA expressing our concern that NMFS is ignoring the jellyfish fishery.

Demonstrate knowledge of other factors that are influencing the issue.

The letter echoed many of the concerns presented in the lawsuit filed by the Jellyfish Supporters of South Texas (JSST). The decision in the JSST lawsuit is scheduled for November 2006 and is likely to bring jellyfish to the foreground of fisheries management issues.

Connect your concern to the National Standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

National Standard 2 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act states that “Conservation and management measures shall be based upon the best scientific information available.”  We at NFJHA strongly believe that the 2004 Jellyfish assessment represents the best scientific information available and should be considered in the SCFMP.

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.

In closing, NFJHA respectfully requests that the Council immediately create a committee to consider including jellyfish in the FMP. I am happy to serve on such a committee and make my knowledge of jellyfish available to the Council.

Close respectfully.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.