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Video of men reeling in shark at Huntington Beach Pier sparks state investigation

Video showing fishermen reeling in what appears to be a juvenile great white shark and pulling it onto the Huntington Beach Pier has prompted an investigation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, authorities said Monday.

The video, which has received over 4,600 views on YouTube since it was posted Friday, shows anglers pulling a shark onto the pier as a crowd of people with cameras gathers to watch.

Capturing a great white shark, which has been a protected species off California’s coast since 1994, is illegal and can result in fines of up to $10,000, according to state authorities.

The video shows the crowd cheering as the anglers lift the shark onto the pier. Some observers inch closer as the shark flops onto the concrete.

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“Hey, take a picture fast,” one man yells.

Lifeguards said the catch wasn’t reported immediately, but they estimate the video was shot after 5 p.m. either Feb. 20 or 21, Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Eric Dieterman said.

Someone brought the video to the attention of the lifeguards, and they contacted the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which began an investigation.

It isn’t clear what happened to the shark after the video ended, but lifeguards believe it was released back into the ocean.

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Fry writes for Times Community News.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

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