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Manhattan Beach extends pier fishing ban after shark bite

Lifestyle and LeisurePublic OfficialsFishingGovernmentPeople for the Ethical Treatment of AnimalsPolitics
Manhattan Beach has extended a temporary ban on fishing from city's pier for two months after shark incident
Ban on fishing from Manhattan Beach Pier, set to expire Tuesday, will now be in effect until Sept. 7

Manhattan Beach officials have extended a temporary ban on fishing from the city’s pier for two months, after a swimmer was bitten by a shark during the Fourth of July weekend.

The temporary ban, which was instituted immediately and was set to expire Tuesday, will now be in effect until Sept. 7 while city officials explore whether or not to institute a more permanent ban or draft new regulations for fishing on the pier, according to Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Powell.

The Saturday incident left 50-year-old swimmer Steven Robles’ right arm in a cast and his torso in stitches. He was bitten after a juvenile great white shark was hooked by a fisherman on the pier and became increasingly agitated, officials said.

During the 60 days, city officials will also consult the State Coastal Commission, which has jurisdiction on the state-owned pier; Los Angeles County, whose lifeguards patrol the beaches; and local marine experts, Powell said.

The announcement came just hours after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a permanent fishing ban on the pier.

Powell says the city’s move has nothing to do with PETA’s call to action, but that he and other city leaders became concerned after questions emerged about how the shark got hooked and how fishermen allegedly reacted afterward.

“The second we had the attack, we just decided to err on the side of caution, be prudent, and stop everything to protect our public,” Powell said. “We’ve never had a problem with this before…but when you have a major incident like this, we have to look at every aspect, what caused it, and how we can prevent it.”

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is continuing to investigate the incident.

The city will discuss the temporary ban at its July 15 city council meeting and “No Fishing” signs have already been placed on the pier.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

6:55 p.m. Updated to include comments from Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Powell and information about the city's next steps.

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