Large Crowds Gather for Monster Catch, Children in Tow

Marcus Benker, 11, of Holyoke, had never seen a live shark prior to
the Boston Big Game Fishing Club's Monster Shark Tournament in Oak
Bluffs this weekend.

So when he first glimpsed a 321-pound blue shark on Saturday
strapped to the back of the Melissa Kate, a fishing boat out of
Scituate, he studied its lifeless eye, its rows of razor sharp teeth and
its streamlined body and wondered aloud if he was looking at the real

Controversy Plagues Oak Bluffs Contest; Scientists, Fishermen on One
Side, Humane Society on the Other

Several years ago the Boston Big Game Fishing Club Monster Shark
Tournament was widely viewed as a simple affair, an event that attracted
top fishermen from up and down the East Coast and generated a moderate
boost in business for local shops and restaurants.

Using charts, graphs and an encyclopedic knowledge of sharks, a leading state marine biologist told the Oak Bluffs selectmen this week that the embattled Boston Big Game Fishing Club's Monster Shark tournament is less about drinking beer and killing sharks, and more about providing a rare opportunity to collect vital information for research.


The simmering heat of a July weekend served as the backdrop on a
cold December night this week when the Oak Bluffs selectmen debated the
future of the Monster Shark tournament, one of the town's biggest
events of the summer.

Even on an Island that knows a little something about shark
hysteria, the upcoming Boston Big Game Fishing Club Monster Shark
tournament is a frenzied event.


As the sport-fishing boat Cookie Too backed into the slip in Oak
Bluffs harbor on Saturday evening, nervous chatter rippled through the
onlookers who had congregated around the dock.