The Shark's Eye Tournament, the only catch-and-release shark tournament in the Northeast, has once again contributed to the Ocearch research project. Ocearch is a global shark tracking system that posts real time data to the web about shark locations and movements.
The second annual Shark's Eye Tournament took place on July 12 and 13 from the Montauk Marine basin. Participants tagged each shark caught with a tracking device before releasing it, and now some of the tagged sharks can be tracked on Ocearch.org, among them five tagged by Joe Gaviola and the crew of the Free Nicky. Their names are Jamie, Big Kahuna, Bonac, Isabella, and Chris Nic.
Wendy Benchley, the wife of Peter Benchley who wrote "Jaws," caught and tagged Cate Ells, who she named for her granddaughters.
Big Kahuna, an immature male Tiger shark, has traveled the farthest since the tournament in July, swimming a total of 553 miles. He is currently off the coast of Delaware. His name was chosen by the Montauk School children. The Amagansett School children named Bonac, a mature male blue shark.
In other shark news, makers of the NBC Sports Network's "Shark Hunters" were in Montauk on June 13 and 14 to film the Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament, in which boats competed for $60,000 in cash, among other prizes. Episodes featuring that tournament can be seen tonight and next Wednesday at 9. The show is a documentary-reality series that follows the lives of five captains and their shark-fishing exploits.