Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament returns

Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament returns

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The Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament returns to Oak Bluffs Harbor this weekend. Organizer Steve James, president of the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, said he expects about 120 boats to participate in the 24th annual big game fishing contest.

Mr. James said the criticism that dogged the tournament in recent years has faded, and local businesses are very happy for the economic boost the contest provides.

The regional tournament turned into a big-time fishing event when it became the subject of an ESPN television special in 2004. In 2005, the tournament attracted a record number of 245 participating boats.

That same year, the catch of a 1,191-pound tiger shark attracted national media attention and the attention of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which mounted a determined effort to oppose the tournament.

The daily weigh-in of sharks, a spectacle that attracts throngs of enthusiastic viewers to the harborside scale set up near the bathhouse by Our Market takes place between 3:30 and 7 pm Friday and 3:30 to 6:30 pm Saturday.