Letter About Sharks & Solution from the Hamptons Mayor

Great white sharks
We have a solution to this shark problem
Getty Images


July 27, 2022

Dear Hamptons Residents:

As you probably know, big sharks are now swimming in the ocean off the Hamptons and, as a result, many folks have called my office to see what can be done about it.

As it has been the hallmark of my administration to respond quickly to any threat to our citizens, whether at our bathing beaches or elsewhere, I, as your mayor, have sprung into action. The results are now in place, I am glad to say. And if you follow our instructions carefully you will have no trouble with sharks until further notice.

Beginning this weekend, using our town helicopters, we will be feeding raw meat to the shark herd out in the ocean at 6 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And, cowboy style, we will be driving the herd around Montauk Point to feed them more raw meat up in Peconic Bay at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

As a result, it will be safe to swim in the ocean when the herd is being fed in the bay, and it will be safe to swim in the bay when the herd is being fed in the ocean on those other days.

Here is your swimming schedule for the remainder of this summer. Cut this out and tape it to the front door of your refrigerator for your friends and family to see.


A message from Mayor Ivan Kratz Jr.

MONDAY — Swim in the Bay

TUESDAY — Swim in the Ocean

WEDNESDAY — Swim in the Bay

THURSDAY — Swim in the Ocean

FRIDAY — Swim in the Bay

SATURDAY — Swim in the Ocean

SUNDAY — Sharks are Sated. Swim Anywhere.

I, as your Mayor Ivan Kratz, would like to thank a wide variety of organizations and individuals, some volunteer and some paid, who have risen to the occasion when approached two weeks ago to bring this plan so quickly to life.

First of all, I must thank my staff here at Township Hall in Noyack. Many of our staff are young people who surf and so have irons in the fire but whom we do not pay very much. They rolled up the sleeves of their wetsuits to volunteer to do their part in this shark plan without extra pay. Meanwhile, those in the upper levels of our executive branch, the supervisors and lieutenants who are paid more, set everything aside for two days to help make this happen. I salute them all.

Next, I would like to thank the four butcher shops in the Hamptons who without hesitation are now using half of their steaks and chops for their clients and the other half for our emergency program. They are Frank’s Butcherino in Montauk, Jerry Morgan Butcher in East Hampton, Alice Meatworth in Southampton and the Butcher Shop in the Hamptons in East Quogue west of the canal. These shops have pitched in even though selling only half their allotment, which results in fewer meat dishes during this time for their clients.

Next I would like to thank our township helicopter pilots, who are now getting to work at 5 a.m. to load up and fly the meat over the ocean offshore so experts can rappel down ropes and drop the meat to the sharks. They are on a reverse schedule as the bathers, of course. And by 7 a.m. they are done and so can arrive to work at Town Hall at 8 a.m.

I’d like also to thank the members of our highway department who, without extra pay, visit the butcher shops at 5:30 a.m. to receive the meat and take it to the East Hampton Airport, where they transfer it to the choppers. (Hopefully, helicopters will continue to be based there, at least for a while.)

Next I would like to thank the special Shark Drop Brigade created by the 773rd Rescue Battalion, based at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, who get themselves lowered by rope from the helicopters to throw out the meat to the waiting sharks below. Those joining this Shark Drop Brigade were specially trained to see to it that the meat gets to the sharks, and not to any of the other fish.

Finally I would like to thank the Hamptons Megayacht Society of Star Island in Montauk, who have persuaded various billionaires in our community to volunteer their yachts one day a week each so that one or another of their 100-foot megayachts could, by picking straws, get to decide whose yachts will be used to round up the herd of sharks to drive them from ocean to bay and bay to ocean on the particular days. They do this by trailing pieces of the butchered meat in the water at the end of fishing lines to keep the sharks moving toward the goal, which is the other side of the water from where they woke up that morning.

Having finished with the thank yous, I would like now to mention the no thank yous. Refusing us any help were the governments of Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, who, when offered the sharks urged by the megayachts dragging the meat to make it their problem, declined. Their decision not to help us earns each of these islands a “boo” from me and my staff. And so we’ve had to solve our shark problem with this more complex half-a-loaf back-and-forth solution.

However, I do understand why they didn’t want to do this. So be it. We will get our revenge sometime.

Finally, I would like to invite every one of us here in the Hamptons to join with me at noon this coming Saturday for one minute of respectful silence. This way, we can best honor and remember Horace McGillicuty, the well respected butcher from Speonk, who, after being told of his role in all this, misunderstood and took half his allotment of raw meat down to the beach at Ponquogue, waded into the water and then threw the meat out at the sharks who were waiting there for him to do that.

McGillicuty was not a local man. A resident of Bohemia, Long Island, he commuted every day in the “trade parade” to his Cuts by McGillicuty shop in Speonk and was a well-respected husband, father and grandfather to a lot of people. May he rest in peace.


Ivan Kratz Jr.

Mayor of the Hamptons

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