2014-02-28 / Nature

Monster Shark Tournament Slated to Move to Newport

By Tom Shevlin


According to the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, 98 percent of the sharks caught during the Monster Shark Tournament are already released as part of a robust conservation program that only permits the largest of sharks from being brought in to shore. Last year, only 12 sharks were landed, the largest being a 429-pound porbeagle. According to the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, 98 percent of the sharks caught during the Monster Shark Tournament are already released as part of a robust conservation program that only permits the largest of sharks from being brought in to shore. Last year, only 12 sharks were landed, the largest being a 429-pound porbeagle. Long known as a focal point for the international sailing community, Newport is on its way to hosting a world-class shark tournament.

Organizers of the Newport Monster Shark Tournament, which for the past twenty years has operated out of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, have confirmed they are bringing the tournament to the City by the Sea.

Billed as the largest offshore fishing competition in New England, the Monster Shark Tournament has become a summertime staple for Martha’s Vineyard, luring dozens of boats and hundreds of anglers to the island each year.

Rumors of the tournament’s departure from Martha’s Vineyard had been circulating for the better part of two years. In November, tournament organizer Steven James told Newport This Week that he was indeed thinking about bringing the event to Newport, promising to make the weekend-long fishing derby a focal point of the season.

“We’ve had a really successful run on the Vineyard,” James said in November. “It’s an event, a real world-class event. We have people plan their whole summer vacations around fishing the tournament.”

James was working to finalize the details surrounding this year’s tournament when he died in January.

Until now, it wasn’t clear what his death would mean for the future of the tournament, which has been described as the “Super Bowl” of fishing and earned coverage on ESPN and NBC Sports. But late last week, organizers from the Boston Big Game Fishing Club announced that the tournament was returning July 17-20 – and its new home would be the Newport waterfront.

According to the Boston Big Game Fishing Club website, 85 boats participated in the 2013 Monster Shark Tournament. With Newport’s proximity to Boston, New York, and Cape Cod, this year, organizers are hoping to attract an even stronger fleet.

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