By Kitty Merrill
Anglers and enviros will join together to make history this weekend as Shark's Eye, Montauk's first satellite tag and all-release fishing tournament, hits the high seas. Hosted by Montauk Marine Basin, Shark's Eye has expanded into a two-day festival for sport, science, conservation and education.
On Saturday and Sunday, two of the foremost research scientists in the country will come to Montauk. On both days, Brooks and Sean Paxton, A.K.A. "the Shark Brothers," directors of another shark conservation fishing tournament, the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge in Florida, will be on hand to provide educational forums under the tent at MMB.
Concurrently, Cornell Cooperative Extension scientist and shark attack survivor Scott Curatolo Wagemann will make a plea for shark preservation while booths under the tent host the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, OCEARCH, and the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.
Tourney visitors will learn about the work the organizations are doing to bring back the large sharks and other species that once flourished in our waters.
Four sharks will receive satellite-tracking tags during the two-day all release tournament. Three anglers will name three sharks. The sixth grade class at the Montauk school will name a fourth. The public will then be able to follow these fish online via OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker, the most-followed shark tracking site and app in the world. Dave Bofill Marine and White Water Marine will provide chase boats with the scientists to tag the sharks. And Mustad — the best-selling hook on the planet — will provide circle hooks used to catch and release.
The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is contributing $10,000 in cash prizes and renowned artist April Gornik has donated an original work of art for the winner. All profits from the two-day event will go to Montauk Boatmen Incorporated, the Montauk School, the Montauk Chamber of Commerce and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk.
For landlubbers, Montauk Marine Basin's patriarch Carl Darenberg is better known for his love of music. There'll be plenty of that to enjoy, too. Country music sensation Colton James and folk music star Caroline Doctorow will be performing at the outdoor stage at Gosman's famous seafood dock on Saturday night.
For more information on Shark's Eye contact Darenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 631-668-5900, or visit www.sharkseyetournament.com