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This week we learned that there will not be a shark tournament in Destin in 2007. Last year’s Destin Deep Water Shark Tournament attracted protests which led to the withdrawal of its main sponsor. A local businessman had hoped to continue the event, but yesterday told the Northwest Florida Daily News that he had decided to “wait for the controversy to settle down a little bit” before hosting a future event.

The news is not as postive elsewhere in Florida’s Panhandle. The bodies of eight sharks were brought to the docks during last weekend’s Outcast Mega Shark Tournament in Pensacola. Many more sharks were hooked, speared and dragged out of the ocean before being released because they were not large enough (many of these sharks likely died from their injuries).

You Can Help
This Saturday, the first St. George Island Shark Tournament will be held. Tournament director David Avant told the Tallahassee Democrat what he thinks of these magnificent animals, “We’re gonna kill ‘em. We’re surfers and fishermen and don’t like them.”

Shark tournaments are cruel and senseless events. Sharks are essential to the ocean ecosystem; shark tournaments contribute to the continuing decline in shark populations.

Please contact Mr. Avant and urge him to make the inaugural St. George Island Shark Tournament the last.

Contact:
E-mail: DavidAvant@aol.com
Phone: 850-228-6234 (cell); 850-575-1260 (office)
Online comment form.

The Humane Society of the United States is sponsoring a protest during the tournament, on Saturday, August 4, from 2-7pm. If you can make the protest, please contact Jen Hobgood at (850) 386-3435.

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