Underwater Times reports that shark conservationist and artist, Dr. Guy Harvey, has persuaded and assisted the organizers of the Ocean City Shark Tournament’s fishing competition to increase the value of the prizes in the catch and release division of the contest. Although there will still be two divisions that allow anglers to bring sharks to the scales, competitors tend to pursue whatever division has the biggest payout and the tournament directors are looking to make the release division cash and prizes so attractive that, by their own choosing, fishermen will voluntarily opt to release more sharks. The current prizes for the catch and release division are over $15,000.
A similar event held last month, the Second Annual Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge, was a catch and release only tournament held on the West Coast of Florida in Punta Gorda. The tournament, created as a model for catch and release only shark tournament formats, drew some 3,000 competitors and spectators and paid out over $15,000 in cash and prizes.