To the Editor:
I would like to address some of the concerns expressed in the Sept. 6 letter to the editor (“Fishing for brown sharks no longer appropriate”) calling for the end of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcaster’s Brown Shark Tournament.
Before this tournament began, I conferred with a species expert, whose opinion was that no disabling or permanent damage would be inflicted on the bown shark as long as the proper rules and guidelines that the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters adhere to would be followed.
Tournament participants use special circle hooks designed for easy removal. It does not take hours to land a brown shark, and once reeled in, sharks are out of the water for a minimum amount of time. The hook is immediately removed, a picture is taken, and the fish is back in the water and swimming away.
Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters are responsible, and dedicated to the ethics of humane catch-and-release fishing. If it were not so, we’d run the risk of being complicit in depleting the very fish we enjoy in our waters.
Donald Scarpone, president
Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters