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Montauk’s Shark Tag-And-Release Tournament A Success

Colleen Maidhof

Scientists and shark enthusiasts gathered for Mountauk's first ever no harm shark catch and release. (Courtesy Photo)

While Discovery Channel's Shark Week is captivating viewers nationwide, the weekend before all eyes in the Hamptons were on the first-ever Shark's Eye no-kill tournament in Montauk.

On Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, ten boats filled with eager participants set out on Chase boats donated by Bofill Marine and Uhlein's Marina. One of those enthusiastic attendees was Jimmy Buffett, aboard the Last Mango, who stated, "These tournaments are the wave of the future." During the two days 64 sharks including 33 Makos were tagged with Mustad-provided circle hooks, which are designed to do less harm, and then released.

Richie Nessel, who was aboard the Nasty Ness, received the Chester Wolf IGFA Sportsman Award. Nessel and his crew collected the most points during the tournament and he was thrilled to be part of the event. "I have fished many Tournaments on the Eastern Seaboard but none had the excitement and buzz as this one," said Nessel. "I am very proud to be part of this historic breakthrough event, one that will be around for many years to come."

The tournament's huge success wass due to the efforts of Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Captain Michael Potts, Montauk Chamber of Commerce, the Shark Brothers, Montauk Boatmen the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Mote Marine, OCEARCH, and Carl Darenberg of Montauk Marine Basin. Tournament host and chief organizer Carl Darenberg said, "With the success of this tournament, I am going to mandate circle hooks for all future shark tournaments. Its success was beyond my expectations, and means that my kids and grandkids will be able to enjoy the ocean the way I have."

The satellite-tagged sharks are already showing up on OCEARCH'S website and pinging back their locations. A 200 pound Blue Shark named Beamer by Montauk school children, will provide information for years to come.

Anyone interested in following the four satellite tagged sharks named Beamer, April, Rizzilient, or Princess can visit www.ocearch.org .

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