As the Discovery Channel kicked off its annual Shark Week on Sunday, the local buzz that generally accompanies the TV phenomenon was subdued.
The Outcast Mega Shark Tournament gives the area a local tie to the television event, but that tie will not take place this year.
After years of hauling in sharks and putting them on display for thousands of spectators to marvel, the tournament has been canceled for 2013.
The Mega Shark Tournament, as well as other shark tournaments around the country have been under increasing scrutiny from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to end their events. But all sharks brought to the scales during the event were donated to Gulf Coast Research Laboratory scientists.
The sharks caught at the tournament progressively have gotten bigger in recent years. In 2011, the tournament saw its record fall twice when an 874.8-pound tiger shark and a 787.6-pound tiger shark both broke a tournament record from 2005 of 576.6 pounds.
In 2012, a 948.6-pound female tiger shark was caught, and researchers from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory found a dolphin in its stomach.
Some anglers who attempted to enter the tournament this year received an email from tournament organizers saying it would not be hosted this year, but the tournament may return in the future.
Pensacola News Journal