YARMOUTH - This year is the 20th anniversary for the Yarmouth Shark Scramble, to be held Aug. 15-18. Organizer Bob Gavel says big prizes will be given in conjunction with the milestone (See end of story).
As of last week there were about 10 boat entries that have taken advantage of early-registration savings. Individual participants paid $125 up to July 31 and $150 after.
Only blue sharks are eligible for the weigh-in this year. Last year 41 sharks were landed: 39 blue sharks and two makos.
There were 84 sharks tagged: 74 were blue sharks, (40 males, nine females and 25 unknowns) plus nine porbeagles and one mako.
“This year we’re going to do a high concentration on tag and release,” said Gavel.
In the early years of the tournament, every participant aboard a boat was able to bring in a shark. The limit was changed to three per boat after the first few years.
“We may look into changing that next year as well,” said Gavel.
Boats depart the evening of Aug. 15, after the captains’ meeting. A scientist from the Department of Fisheries will be at the meeting to instruct on proper tag-and-release procedures. The weigh-in will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, at noon at Parker Eakin’s Wharf / Marina.
The sharks will not be dissected on the waterfront by Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientists this year, but several members of other oceanographic organizations will be on site collecting tissue samples.
In response to negative comments about the tournament and fishing sharks for sport, Gavel would like for people to understand all aspects of the event.
“People need to understand the true meaning of what this is all about. The thing about blue sharks is they’re not commercially fished so there’s no other way to get their sampling or to understand how the stocks are doing, other than by our tag and release.”
The Shark Scramble sponsors the Yarmouth County Ground Search and Rescue association and sponsored seven needy families last Christmas. It also contributed to the 100 Free Meals for the Town of Yarmouth.
On Saturday during the weigh-in, there will be waterfront activities geared towards children's education of the sharks, along with prizes, face painting, a fish pond and more for children.
Yarmouth Shark Scramble prizes and registration info
Grand prize: Camouflage Honda 420 ATV sponsored by Leonard C. Comeau
Other prizes: 2.5 HP Yamaha outboard motor from Paul d’Entremont’s Marine
Shark rods and reels (one donated by Highliner Fishing gear and tackle, the other by Lequille Country Store)
Chainsaw from Top Line Sales
Cash prizes (amount determined by participation level.)
Entry fee was $125 until July 31 and $150 afterwards.
Registration forms are online or for more information, call Doreen at 902-749-6643 or Rick at 902-749-3031.