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GH-USC Washington Post

We were joined on the water, during the qualifying round, by Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post Staff Writer. We'd like to thank her for making the trip down from Washington to cover the tournament and share this story with the many Washington Post readers around the world.

L-R: Brooks Paxton II, Sean Paxton, Juliet Eilperin, Bob Hueter

PUNTA GORDA, FLA. -- Most shark tournaments follow a similar ritual: Contestants haul up sharks and bring them back to the dock, where the by now dead animals are weighed and measured so judges can declare a winner. But in the Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge, which had a qualifying competition earlier this month and will culminate in a final round of fishing this weekend, the sharks get away with their lives.

The idea of catching sharks and freeing them for entertainment is a new twist on the old sport -- the latest effort by conservationists and scientists to protect dwindling shark populations.

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