For 40 years the citizens of the West Dorset town had gathered to enjoy their unique competition, in which contestants try to knock each other down with dead conger eels -- at least until one citizen spoke out against the "inappropriate" practice, the BBC said.
Based on an anonymous e-mail complaint, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute has declared the traditional practice be changed to something more humane.
As of last Friday, the event -- part of the town's charitable Lifeboat Week -- began the immediately unpopular practice of using mooring buoys instead of the eels.
"It was not quite the same," said Andrew Kaye of the RNLI. "We are thinking of having a plastic eel made."
The event, which attracts nearly 3,000 people a year, raises funds for new lifeboats in the area, said the BBC.