The Shark’s Eye Tournament and Festival returns to the Montauk Marine Basin, July 11-13. Limited team entries are still available to compete for $10,000 in guaranteed prize money, provided by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, plus half of all entry fees, 100 percent of Calcutta and other prizes. Entry fee is $950. In 2013, teams tagged and released 64 sharks including 33 mako and 31 blues. Four of the sharks were satellite tagged.
While competition heats up on the North Atlantic, there will be plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family on shore at the tournament and festival host location, the Montauk Marine Basin. The companion, shark-themed festival, hosted by the Shark Brothers and special guests, is free to the public from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. It features event sponsors, a wide variety of merchant vendors, live music and entertainment including appearances by Brian Neal, unique attractions, interactive demonstrations and lots of delicious food and beverages, all on the waterfront, during the entire weekend. A dock party Saturday night runs until 10 p.m.
World renowned marine artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey, and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, one of the organizers of the inaugural event, is supporting the tournament and festival again this year with $10,000 towards the prize purse and signed, limited edition Guy Harvey prints for the lucky winners. “There is no other fishing tournament like Shark’s Eye,” says Guy Harvey. “This tournament combines the thrill of shark fishing, practical conservation measures, and meaningful fisheries research and community involvement into a single event. It is truly the future of shark fishing tournaments.”
Wendy Benchley, Advisory Trustee of Environmental Defense Fund and Co-founder of the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards offered congratulations to all involved in the 2nd Annual Shark’s Eye Tournament and Festival. “Peter and I worked for many years on ocean conservation issues so I am pleased to be attending this year in support of the event and the continued efforts of Sean and Brooks Paxton, as they bring their comprehensive and collaborative approach of shark-release tournaments to new venues such as Montauk, the birthplace of recreational shark fishing. The Paxton brothers are talented, innovative leaders in the evolution of shark tournaments from the killing of these apex predators, so valuable to the health of our oceans, into an exciting, education-oriented sporting event where the thrilling and dangerous act of bringing a shark alongside the boat for measuring, tagging and releasing results in an exhilarating experience for all — the anglers, their families and the public.”
Participating scientists and their teams will attach satellite tags made available by OCEARCH to certain species, such as mako, thresher and blue sharks to monitor their movements after release.
Competitors and the public can then track their movements on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker website — the most followed shark tracking site and app in the world. Tagging operations in 2014 will again be led by Dr. Greg Skomal and Dr. Nancy Kohler. Satellite-tagged sharks will be named by competing anglers and local school children.
Satellite tracks from the event have already provided valuable insight into the lives of these animals and the challenges they face during their expansive migratory journeys that, in some cases, cross many thousands of miles and multiple international territories. Three of the four shark’s satellite tagged last year pinged in for months after their release during competition. One of them, a shortfin mako named Rizzilient by “Fin Seeker,” the team that caught and released it, spent months in the mid-Atlantic before showing up on the coast of Portugal. OCEARCH’s collaborating scientists believe Rizzilient was caught and killed by commercial fishermen in the Atlantic and the tag brought back to port. Beamer, a blue shark named by Montauk School Students traveled as far north as Portland, Maine before heading south to Costa Rica, where it was also caught and killed by commercial fishermen. “These findings provide tangible affirmation that, despite the vastness of our oceans, these animals still face intense fishing pressures around the world; information that can be valuable in future fisheries management policy for certain species”, added Sean Paxton.
The tournament and festival is supported by sponsors including LandShark Lager, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Dan’s Papers, OCEARCH, Montauk Marine Basin, Pepsi, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, Mote Marine Laboratory, AFTCO, Lynn’s Hula Hut, Montauk Boatmen and Captains Association, Montauk Chamber of Commerce, Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Children’s Museum of the East End, MA Shark Research Program, Shark Angels, NOAA Apex Predators Program, My Earth Water, WRI, Smokin’ Wolf BBQ, Gringo’s Burrito Grill, Duryea & Sons, Dreesen’s Catering, Sammy’s Restaurant, El Vaqero Mexican Food, Endless Summer Catering, Weather Routing, Inc, and Think Out Loud Productions. The event also continues its support of the Wounded Warrior Project by hosting a team of veterans competing with a boat and entry provided courtesy of artist Eric Fischl.
Event Contact Info:
Tournament & Team Entry: Carl Darenberg, Montauk Marine Basin, 631-668-5900, SharksEyeTournament.com
Festival Director: Laura Mastandrea, 516-660-0100, [email protected]
Media Contact: Sean Paxton/Brooks Paxton, 941-416-1788/5073, [email protected]
Sponsors Contact: Jackie Lowey, 631-766-8978, [email protected]
To track the sharks: http://www.ocearch.org/#SharkTracker
To view the CBS Evening News TV segment on the 2013 Shark’s Eye Tournament: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/long-island-tradition-changes-to-save-the-sharks/
For a Guy Harvey Research Foundation Tournament overview: http://vimeo.com/71385876
Visit the Shark’s Eye Tournament Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SharksEyeTournament