Fate of Shark Tournament Uncertain

The simmering heat of a July weekend served as the backdrop on a cold December night this week when the Oak Bluffs selectmen debated the future of the Monster Shark tournament, one of the town's biggest events of the summer.

Film Highlights Role of Sharks on Eve of Yearly Tournament

Most people think of the shark as the ultimate symbol of dread, giants with cold lifeless eyes who cruise the ocean looking for swimmers they can tear from limb to limb. The very word itself is used to describe people in society who prey on others or who engage in deceptive practices.

There is probably not an animal in the world more despised or feared then sharks, ranking right down there with snakes and spiders.

Shark Tournament Seeks Private Venue

The organizer of the Monster Shark Tournament this week announced that he had withdrawn his application to use Washington Park as the headquarters for the three-day event and instead had set his sights on securing a private venue for the tournament’s opening and closing ceremonies.

Steven James, president of the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, told the Gazette this week he had withdrawn his application to put up a tent with capacity for 900 on Washington Park that would be used for the tournament’s Captain’s Banquet and closing ceremonies.

Shark Tournament May Be Endangered

In a move that sets the stage for the town of Oak Bluffs to break ranks with the controversial Boston Big Game Fishing Club Monster Shark Tournament, a divided board of selectmen on Tuesday voted to deny a one-day liquor license for shark tournaments.

Following the vote, tournament organizer Steven James said the town’s action provides grounds for a lawsuit. He accused selectmen of discriminating against the popular fishing tournament and fishermen in general.

Noise, Trash Talk in Oak Bluffs at Shark Tournament Debrief

Oak Bluffs selectmen this week aired complaints about noise and trash from the annual monster shark tournament, a three-day event held last weekend that attracted more than 100 fishing boats to the town harbor and throngs of onlookers.

The organizer of the tournament is Steven James of the Boston Big Game Fishing Club.

Shark Hunting

This is the weekend of the 24th annual Monster Shark Tournament and as many as 120 recreational fishing boats are expected in Oak Bluffs harbor. They’ll ply the waters south and east of the Vineyard in pursuit of the biggest shark, but only a few fish will be brought ashore.

This event has drawn much attention in recent years, including from animal rights activists, who complain about wasteful killing of sharks in recent years.

Critics Target Shark Tournament, Selectmen Cite Financial Boon

Criticism of the annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament resurfaced at the town selectmen’s meeting this week, with a local group asking the town to reconsider the role it plays in the popular event, citing ethical and environmental concerns with the way sharks are killed and displayed in the town harbor.

Here Come the Bonito

Atlantic bonito are here. After rumblings over the last two weeks, reports are coming in that the summer’s fastest swimmers have entered Island waters. We’ve heard that Atlantic bonito, which usually reside in warmer waters, have been taken at The Hooter, a buoy that marks Muskeget Channel.

Capt. Porky Francis of Edgartown said he also is hearing reports that bonito are being taken at Hedge Fence, a shoal that is off Oak Bluffs.

Like It or Not, Shark Tournament Is a Spectacle

Some came to revel in a summer weekend on the harbor, and others jostled for a prime spot to see the action. Some happened upon the hubbub, curious to see what all the fuss was about, and a few came to protest.

The word of the day was sharks: it was shouted when people saw a boat coming in with a telltale fin or tail, and T-shirts, hats, balloons and stuffed animals bore the image of the fish.

Pro-Shark Concert: Music With a Bite

The battle lines have been drawn.

For some years now the town of Oak Bluffs has hosted an annual Monster Shark Tournament during a weekend in July. The event is well attended by both fishermen and spectators. But it is also protested regularly.

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