The Manhattan Beach city council is considering a ban on fishing from its pier in California less than two weeks after a long distance swimmer was attacked by a shark being reeled in by fisherman.
The city council delayed a vote on the permanent ban after listening to heated debate on the subject, reported KNBC-TV
. The debate over the fishing ban was sparked when Steve Robles was bitten by a great white shark near the pier on July 5, reported KTLA-TV
Robles fought off the shark after it latched on to his rib cage near Manhattan Beach
. He was treated at UCLA Medical Center for his injuries. The shark had been hooked by a fisherman who tried to reel it in for about a half hour.
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"It's called a provoked attack, which means the shark was angry and it wanted to get away," Erin Martin, director of Roundhouse Aquarium and witness to the July 5 incident, told KTLA-TV. "The shark did not come up and purposefully attack somebody."
Robles appeared at the meeting, saying that he understood the complexity of the issue before council, reported KNBC-TV.
"The Pier belongs to everybody, it belongs to the fisherman, it belongs to the swimmers, the surfers, the people that run up and down at the end of the Pier," Robles told council, according to KNBC-TV. "How do we regulate the Pier?"
Alicia Woempner, a project manager with PETA, urged city council to keep the ban.
"It really demonstrates the danger that fishing represents to beach goers as well as wildlife," Woempner said.
One fisherman argued whether if the city council actually had the authority to make a permanent ban.
"The state constitution explicitly guarantees the right to fish on submerged land granted to the municipality by the state of California," he said.
The Manhattan Beach city council initiated a 60-day fishing ban on July 7 to let city officials talk with other agencies about safety policies connected to fishing off the pier.
KTLA-TV reported the city council has asked the Los Angeles County district attorney's office to determine if charges should be filed against the fisherman who originally hooked the shark.
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