YARMOUTH, NS — The crew aboard the fishing boat Irvin John were the stars of the 24th annual Yarmouth Shark Scramble, catching the three largest blue sharks landed at this year’s event.
Twelve vessels carrying 101 participants took part in this year’s race, departing for fishing grounds off southwestern Nova Scotia on August 17 and returning to port on August 20 for weigh-in at Rudder’s Wharf on the Yarmouth waterfront. Each vessel is only allowed to land three blue sharks, which must be at least eight feet long. Anything smaller is tagged and released. On average, 80 blue sharks are tagged and released each year.
The Irvin John’s total catch was 1,058 pounds for a high average of the boat. Christian Deveau took first place with a 367-pound shark. In second was Riley Crowell with a catch of 360 pounds and in third was Lyndon Maddie with a blue shark of 331 pounds. All were aboard the Irvin John.
The Minnow award for youngest shark went to Matthew Wood aboard the 34 to Life who landed a catch of 156 pounds.
The big winner of a 4×4 side-by-side was Paul Manser of FV Fallen Angel. Many other prizes were also given out, including gift certificates, kayaks, a pressure washer, a table grill, a smoker and a stand-up paddle board.
Fisheries researchers were at the dock to collect data such as the length, weight and sex of sharks caught, as well as samples used for research purposes. The sharks are then transported to local processors.
All proceeds from the race are donated to charities in the community. Weigher MC Cliff Gavel said more than $50,000 has been donated to charities by the Shark Scramble committee since its inception in 1998, including Yarmouth’s 100 Meals program, Juniper House and other local organizations nonprofit in need of help.