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.
The Guy Harvey Foundation has donated $10,000 in cash prizes and a painting by artist April Gornik will go to the tournament winner.
Two of the foremost research scientists in the country will come to Montauk for the weekend. 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.
On Friday, from 4 to 6 PM the Paxtons will discuss "best practices" for handling and tagging sharks. That night, a captains' meeting and beer and seafood bash will be held at the marine basin.
On Saturday, boats depart at 6 AM, with a return deadline of 7 PM. Throughout the day, an array of events, including a film festival, is planned from noon to 5 PM.
Representatives from the Guy Harvey foundation will host the film "This is Your Ocean: Sharks," which tells the story of three artists who interact with some of the world's largest predatory sharks. The film boasts some of the most amazing shark footage ever recorded. Also hosted by Guy Harvey's reps, the new documentary "Tiger Shark Express" reveals the private lives of Tiger Sharks. Tiger Sharks are much less camera-shy than other sharks such as great whites, but still little is known about their lives in the open ocean.
Making its New York debut, the documentary, "Rich History - Priceless Future" explores the history of a modern day tarpon and shark fishery worth billions of dollars annually. The Paxtons, who produced and directed the film will introduce and discuss it. Also on Saturday a lecture and DVD presentation featuring Captain Kenneth Grimshaw, one of the world's leading experts on Great White Sharks in their natural environment, will be shown. Finally, Stephanie Whiston will talk about her Underwater Photography exhibit and her techniques and travels.
Sunday's festivities under the tent include a special presentation by the Shark Brothers – a multimedia show entitled "Sharks – From Fear to Fascination." It is an interactive experience which entertains and educates while taking audiences through the history and evolution of recreational shark fishing, a sport that Frank "The Monster Man" Mundus pioneered in Montauk in 1951. Unique hands-on demonstrations include modern shark-release fishing and satellite tagging methods used in the Sharks' Eye Tournament.
Also on Sunday, Cornell Cooperative Extension scientist and shark attack survivor Scott Curatolo Wagemann will make a plea for shark preservation. Reps from the Riverhead Foundation will talk about tagging whales, seals and sea turtles and encounters with sharks. The Peconic Baykeeper will talk about how pollution effects the foods we eat, and officials from the National Marine Fisheries Service will offer the latest in fishing 411.
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.
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 more information on Shark's Eye contact Montauk Marine Basin's patriarch Carl Darenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 631-668-5900, or visit www.sharkseyetournament.com.