Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Imagine our shock on Saturday after a lovely family stroll through the gingerbread houses when we came upon the shark tournament. It was a truly barbaric display and the antithesis of the Vineyard we know and love. Adults encouraged children to participate in the dismemberment of the sharks and all celebrated the grisly displays of bloodied, severed sharks’ heads. My nine-year-old daughter said: “I can’t get that awful image out of my head, Mom.” With the dwindling populations of sharks worldwide we could not understand how this was taking place and with such brutality. I encourage Oak Bluffs not to host the tournament and at the very least to enforce the catch and release measure from now on. Our family always looks forward to our time on Martha’s Vineyard (for the past 20 summers) and this event really tarnished our good memories.

Amy Budden, Los Angeles, Calif.