SYDNEY, Australia – Australia's competition to see how far someone can throw a tuna will be missing something next year: the fish.
Organizers of the Tunarama Festival held each January in Port Lincoln on the remote Eyre Peninsula are replacing the real thing with polyurethane replicas for the highlight event, the frozen tuna toss.
Each year, contestants in four categories hurl fish weighing up to 22 pounds as far as they can. The winner in each category gets $870.
The fake fish have been sculpted by an artist to look just like the real thing.
"The dimensions are perfect," Merriwyne Hore, the acting manager of the 2008 festival, said. "We road tested it with one of our champions. He had a few throws, and he was really impressed. It felt good, very balanced."
Hore told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the switch was being to avoid wasting perfectly good fish, among other reasons.
Hore said some people had objected to the change, but it was judged necessary on ecological and monetary grounds.
"Some people don't like it because it's not original, but it's time we got green, got realistic about this," she said.