A chance for a shark tourney change

A chance for a shark tourney change

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To the Editor:

This is a copy of a letter sent to the Oak Bluffs selectmen.

As you undertake the task of determining the status of future monster shark tournaments, I respectfully request that you consider the following issues during your deliberations.

Honoring the voice of Oak Bluffs citizens, as reflected in their recent vote, at both town meeting and at the ballot box, to make all future shark tournaments catch and release events only is a wonderful opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding and support of the democratic process hard at work on Martha’s Vineyard. This past week the shark tournament promoter has indicated a willingness to sponsor a catch and release tournament here next summer. There seems to be a window of opportunity for you to capitalize on this business possibility while at the same time respecting the wishes of the voting public.

I have attached two photos that I took during this year’s tournament. I find them deeply offensive and disturbing. Publicly desecrating the carcasses of dismembered sharks by placing beer cans and mannequins arms in their mouths and then putting sun glasses on their severed heads show a violent disrespect for the living world. This outrageous display of cruelty and arrogance undermines the efforts of lsland parents and teachers to instill a sense of morality and justice in our children’s lives. Implementing the catch and release option as written and passed by the Oak Bluffs voting public last April will immediately end such deplorable harborfront behavior.

The two women selectmen on your august board, Gail Barmakian and Kathy Burton, have, in my opinion, demonstrated wise and thoughtful leadership by supporting a catch and release option. We, as Island males, can benefit from their enlightened understanding of the partnership that exists among all living creatures.

Steve Maxner

West Tisbury