Ire’s up in Manhattan Beach in debate over sharks

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Manhattan Beach officials are getting ready to revisit some controversial restrictions on fishing off that city’s pier. They’re concerned that anglers are drawing great white sharks to the area.

A month ago a shark caught on a fisherman’s line bit a surfer. That prompted the City Council to temporarily ban fishing from the pier and sparked a heated debate between pro and anti-fishing camps.

greatwhiteCalifornia Fish and Game officials have since demanded that Manhattan Beach lift what they call the city’s “illegal” ban on fishing.

The city admits that it can’t permanently prohibit fishing from the pier. But it can act to protect public safety, which leaves some wiggle room. At tomorrow night’s City Council meeting, officials will look at a number of measures to restrict fishing, including limiting fishing to the end of the pier and prohibiting metal lines and large hooks.

It’s unclear if those moves would pass state muster. Stay tuned…

Here’s some rough video footage of the shark attack off Manhattan beach: