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After 34 years, organizers of the annual Ocean City Shark Tournament have announced the event will not return this year and that the directors of the contest are retiring.

A post on the tournament's website over the weekend said the 2014 event was the last for the popular contest that attracted hundreds of shark anglers and even more spectators each year.

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"Over the past 34 years, we have worked to develop an event that would be fun, exciting, and educational for both competitors and spectators," organizers wrote. "The goal was to provide an environment where shark anglers could compete for substantial prize money with responsible fishing practices."

In 2007, the Humane Society called for an end to the tournament, citing threats to shark populations.

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At the time, Mark Sampson, the founder of the tournament, told The Sun that many of the sharks were caught and released.

Last year, the three-day event had a payout of nearly $45,00, but only 18 boats registered. In 2012 and 2013, even fewer signed up because of rough sea conditions, according to the tournament's website.

Despite the dwindling numbers, several commenters on the OC Shark Tournament's Facebook page said the event would be greatly missed. Organizers, meanwhile, gave credit to all of their supporters over the years.

"We've had many fun times under our tournament tent and on the docks during the weigh-ins and we know that we will miss those relationships in the future."

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