Sample letter

Copy and paste any or all parts of this letter to tell a supermarket, restaurant, or other outlet to stop serving marlin or sailfish.  Items you'll have to change are underlined.




Dear __________________:


It has come to my attention that NAME OF SUPERMARKET/RESTAURANT is selling marlin or sailfish to the public.  What you may not know is that in October 2012, President Obama signed The Billfish Conservation Act, prohibiting the importation and sale of all species of billfish – blue, white and striped marlin, sailfish and spearfish – in the United States (with a limited exemption for local markets in Hawaii and neighboring western Pacific islands).  According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency responsible for enforcing the Billfish Conservation Act, NOAA is interpreting the law as a complete prohibition on possession and sale of billfish in the continental United States and will continue to do so until it issues a Final Rule in early 2014.   


The BCA was adopted by Congress, with overwhelming bipartisan support, because although marlin and other billfish are among the biggest and fastest fish in the sea - top predators with little to fear from other natural predators – they are also among the most threatened. Overfishing has reduced their populations to only a fraction of a healthy population. According to a 2011 global assessment by scientists with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), blue and white marlin are threatened and striped marlin is nearly threatened with extinction.     


Consider also that marlin are known to accumulate harmful levels of mercury.    The United States Environmental Protection Agency health guidelines for fish consumption indicate that any fish with a mercury level greater than 1.5 parts per million (ppm) should not be consumed in any amount.  Marlin, especially large specimens, have been found to have mercury levels as high as 15 ppm.


There are many sustainable seafood alternatives for restaurants to serve. So please, help make sure there will always be plenty of marlin in the sea by refraining from serving marlin at your restaurant. 










National Coalition for Marine ConservationInternational Game Fish Association