When you think of summertime in North Carolina, many people will think about heading to one of the many beaches on our coastline.
For many coastal communities, this is the time of year when tourism is at its highest. Families coming from around the world to get a taste of North Carolina coastal life, or salt life as many say. Vacation homes and hotels are booked months in advance and the restaurant scene is booming with people flocking in to enjoy the fresh local catch.
For the coastal communities of Oak Island, Holden Beach, Caswell Beach and Ocean Isle, leaders found themselves turning away from summer fun and expressing concerns about one of their most feared residents, sharks. A controversial, land-based shark fishing tournament was planned for mid-July during peak tourism season in those communities. Although the tournament would be good for business, town leaders were not too excited about having a shark fishing tournament during peak tourism season.
Alan Holden, the mayor of Holden Beach, said it’s not good for business, especially during peak tourist season.
“Sharks and people swimming along the coastline do not mix,” said Holden. “We don’t want any bad press, and no one in their right mind is going to bring their children down here to swim.”
It’s worth noting that participants in the shark fishing tournament fish from the shoreline but they do not use chum.
Read more about the story including the response from tournament organizers here.