The ban on fishing at the Manhattan Beach Pier following a shark attack was extended today until Sept. 7.
The ban, which was instituted after the Saturday morning shark attack, was originally set to be lifted Tuesday. By this afternoon, a digital sign announced: "No fishing from pier until 9/7."
Steven Robles, 50, was bitten Saturday morning by a great white shark believed to have been between 7 and 10 feet long. The shark had been hooked by a fishing line and was struggling to get free when Robles swam by.
A fisherman who only identified himself as Jason told the Los Angeles Times that a group of fishermen were trying to lure the shark out to sea before cutting the line. It is illegal to fish for sharks, and the fisherman said they were trying to catch a bat ray.
Earlier today, the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a permanent ban on fishing from the Manhattan Beach Pier.
"As this incident demonstrates, fishing in a populated area increases the risk that sharks will bite humans, whom they are otherwise uninterested in as prey," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman wrote in a letter to Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth. "In addition to causing hooked sharks to lash out, fishing also attracts sharks who are lured by the smell of bait or blood from fish who have already been caught."
Reiman wrote that "it seems clear that the best way to protect public safety and reduce the risk that another swimmer will be injured or killed by a panicked or confused shark is to ban fishing at the pier permanently."
Howorth could not be reached for comment.
Following the attack, harbor patrol crews spotted the shark -- which was cut loose -- and coaxed it into deeper ocean waters, away from the beach.
"The shark came right up to me, bit right into my torso area," Robles said after being treated for the shark bite. "He penetrated the first layer of my skin and into my fat tissue. Somehow I had enough sense to grab his nose with my right hand and pry him off my body.
"For a second, I thought this might be it," Robles said. "I was absolutely terrified. I never thought I would die in the ocean."
--City News Service