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Vineyard Gazette
Edgartown, Massachusetts
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July 26, 2013     Vineyard Gazette
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July 26, 2013
 

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k~ . ' :2. ~ ,, ; Endo :>". &e late hea o! a summer day, a canopy Of incandescent blue above the dap , ! / \ :~::: : :5: := -< ~:5::'.. '. .f ' Volume 168, Number It. Devoted @, Martha's/yin~ (Vineyar~f Hav~ nab. T~ese, rinev~ard,, seven miles o1~ s cv,,~bast etts! Winter population,' 16,535; in nty miles from "ci~ofNew Bedford, m and 150 ',milee[ from New York. )eU20i3 Vineyard Gazette LLC. v Established 1846. VINEYARD GAZETTE, MARTH~S VINEYARD, MASS., FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2013 '~ Fish School After the Catch Sharks Are Boon i11i_ 'ng, withr* To Scientlsts- ' q Safety, Vigilance : | By OLIVIA HULL ' N ~ARA BROWN A Watel~n man was listed in fair While each of the spectators made it home in one piece after the annual Monster Shark Tournament had of- ficially ended, the same isn't true for the 12 sharks weighed in over the two days. Each fish was cut up and pieces transported to different places. Muscle was brought home to serve -- shark steak for dinner. Teeth found homes in the keepsake boxes of little boys. Photo- graphs were uploaded to Facebook and Instagram. But by some measures, the most valu- able loot was the information gleaned, and the tissue samples collected. Both were brought into laboratories the coast this work week to inform scientific studies of a group of fish still poorly understood. Three biologists attended the shark tournament this weekend, each study- ing sharks from a different angle. Lisa Natanson, a scientist based at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) lab in Naragansett, R.I., stud,: ies aging, growth and reproduction of sharks. She has been attending the tournament for more than a decade with Gregory Skomal, a fisheries biolo- gist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who is working on a statistical study. The third, Joanna Borucinska. of the University of Hart- ford, studies shark pathology. After each fish was weighed and measured, the scientists were granted the first cuts of the fish, a speedy dis- section process completed with gusto and precision; Ms. Natanson carried a six-inch boning knife, which rests in the holster strapped to her abdomen. It's small, but kept continuously sharp by a whetstone she holds in the other hand while cutting into the sharks. Her other equipment included a portable black case for storing tissues, a sieve, measiiring tape, rope, a scale and: a rusted, dust-covered caliper. Ms. Borucinska had a bucket, a ladder and a large cooler, as well as a handful of students standing by to assist. In its 27th year, the shark tournament took place on Friday and Saturday last weekend. The crew of Magellan out of Harwich, captained by Jason Pillsbury, took home the $20,000 prize. Magellan landed a 429-porbeagle shark on Friday and another 313-pound porbeagle on Saturday, winning the tournament with 742 points. Sponsored by the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, the tournament attracted a large crowd of spectators as it always does, along with marine scientists who use the caught sharks for their research. With spinnakers billowing, !~)i~ :! , .5 ; /?(:::;)ii?i;ii::i:!i/i?)!!!I!:! ~ i i;: :i ?= i ~ :~i~;~ :!~ :!!~iiii~!ii:iiii=)/:ii~ ~ii ~ ~ ~: ,:,~;~% :7 ,:~:~ !:5?i~i!!~ii~i:iiiililili~!i:~i;~!~!iii~i~;~il ~!~i i;~ i i: ~ L~ . 5