Angler Who Hooked Shark In Manhattan Beach Won’t Be Cited
Yesterday, we told you about the ban on fishing off the Manhattan Beach Pier due to the incident involving a swimmer and a great white shark that was hooked by a angler.
Of course, it’s illegal to fish specifically for great whites, which are protected. But like the story of California Sportsman story subject Jeff Fangman, who last winter had an incidental catch and release of a 14-foot great white, it’s hard to fault an angler fishing off a pier with plenty of different fish around and whose bait gets bitten by any species. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed, and the angler who hooked the shark that resulted in the swimmer being injured will not be cited.
From the CDFW:
An investigation including evidence from videos, social media and personal interviews did not provide proof there was intent by the angler to target white sharks.
It is legal to fish for the many species of sharks, rays and other fish that frequent the waters surrounding the pier using the same techniques used that day. Facebook posts and interviews resulted in evidence that showed the angler was targeting bat rays, but admitted to catching sharks including white sharks.
This is a legal activity and consistent with numerous other fishing practices in waters where similar tackle is used to catch a variety of fish species. Incidentally caught species that are not legal to keep must immediately be released. In this case, the line was cut before the fish was landed.
Although this was a very unfortunate incident where a person was injured, criminal prosecution requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. Unless additional evidence is discovered, no charges will be pursued by CDFW in this case.