The concept that change is the only constant in life was first attributed to Greek philosopher Heraclitus, and although he died in 475 B.C., the notion still rings true today.

When we decided to feature a story about a 52-year-old Texas City fishing tournament on Monday front and center of the sports section, I didn’t give the decision a second thought.

While the story was generally well-received, the picture of the tournament’s most-prized catch, a 673-pound tiger shark, hanging lifeless at the Texas City Dike above the winner’s boat, resulted in some negative feedback.

It seems sensibility is one of those things constantly changing, even when it comes to events more than five decades old.

At last Sunday’s Tackle Time closing ceremonies, the winning shark hung on display only because of the coincidence that it was caught earlier that morning.

To put that in context from a change perspective, some of my more seasoned colleagues tell me that there was once a time when the winning catches in just about all of Tackle Time’s trophy catches (the event features 16 different categories in offshore, inshore and youth divisions) would hang on display.

On top of that, the fish would reportedly be displayed from the moment they were brought on shore until the end of the tournament, which lasts 10 days.

However, in time, this sight became intolerable to enough people’s sensibilities that it was dialed back.

But now one must wonder if sensibilities will change to the point where shark fishing for sport cannot be celebrated on the fronts of sports pages or even tolerated at all whatsoever.

We’ve already seen big game safari hunting make national headlines in recent days.

A 19-year-old Texas Tech cheerleader’s photos posing with animals (including a lion, a leopard and an elephant) she killed while big game hunting in Africa that she posted online became a viral Internet sensation, mainly because of the extremely negative reaction she received.

In a viral Internet story within another viral Internet story, a 17-year-old Belgian girl who was offered a modeling contract by makeup company L’Oreal after being spotted in the crowd at a World Cup game had said offer rescinded when the company found similar big game hunting photos online.

While I don’t equate African big game hunting with fishing for sharks, the question I pose to readers is that is there any threat that sensibilities change so much that shark fishing reaches the level of taboo associated with aforementioned big game hunting stories?

Or is it something that can remain a celebrated tradition here in Galveston County and elsewhere?

James LaCombe is the Sports Editor of The Daily News. Contact him at 409-683-5242 or

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