Monster shark fishing tournaments face growing pressure to reform

block island shark tournamentIt’s 4am at the dock on Block Island, a teardrop-shaped New England vacation spot situated off Rhode Island, and tempers are fraying among fishermen competing in one of the region’s growing number of big money “monster” shark fishing tournaments. At the previous night’s pre-competition gathering, one fisherman tore off his shirt and hurled it at the organizers, enraged at what he saw as an insufficient prize pot. Then, on the opening morning of a two-day contest to reel in the largest shark, anger flares from a very different source. The Guardian is supposed to join the boat skippered by Peter Brancaleone, last year’s winner of the Block Island Giant Shark Tournament and rotund star of the TV show Shark Hunters. But one of his crew isn’t happy, believing that this reporter is a government spy planted to spread allegations of cheating against Brancaleone. “Either he gets off the boat or I do,” the crew member says. “If he sees us pushing 16 sharks off the side of the boat, what do you think this British fuck is going to tell people? Get him off the boat.” Read the story here 08:47

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