The Oak Bluffs selectmen tonight will hear two proposals from organizers who want to host big game fishing tournaments out of the town marina.
A tournament targeting a variety of big fish species received a stamp of approval from the harbor advisory committee last Thursday. The organizer is Damon Sacco, a Bourne resident.
The other proposal is more similar to the annual Monster Shark tournament, whose organizer died last month in a duck hunting accident.
That applicant, part-time Islander Matthew Kriedel, still plans to pitch his event at today’s meeting, despite a lack of endorsement from the harbor committee.
The applicants are vying for a chance to reinvent the annual tournament in the wake of the death of Steven James, longtime organizer of the event that took place in town for 27 years.
The events are planned for consecutive three-day weekends in mid and late July. Mr. Kriedel wants to fill all 65 slips in the town marina while Mr. Sacco estimated 15 to 25. Both tournaments would have weigh-in and as well as catch and release components; but Mr. Sacco has said sharks will not be killed at his event.
That issue may be a deciding factor for selectmen, who have yet to act on a nonbinding referendum in spring 2013 when residents voted to make shark tournaments catch and release.
The vote came after Mr. James had already begun planning his last tournament, so selectmen had postponed action on the ballot question.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how each selectmen approaches it,” said selectman and board chairman Walter Vail.
Mr. Vail said he will press for a vote tonight, in the interest of time. Harbor slip reservations opened the first of the month.