Pier 'ambassador' reacts to post-shark attack Manhattan Beach fishing ban

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It's day one of a 60-day ban on fishing off Manhattan Beach Pier. Officials are looking into safety issues around a great white shark that was hooked by a fisherman and then bit a swimmer after it broke free, though officials say they won't cite the fishermen who hooked the shark.

The man who has become the face of the pier in recent days has mixed feelings about the ban. Eric Martin has become as much a part of the Manhattan Beach shark story as the shark or the swimmer he bit.

He's done 23 interviews. He's been on TV, in newspapers, all over the Web. And when's he not talking to reporters, he co-directs an aquarium at the end of the pier. This summer he was planning on giving fishing lessons to school kids on field trips.

Martin was at the aquarium Saturday when swimmer Steven Robles was bitten by a shark. Just before that, the shark had been struggling at the end of a fishing line and broke free. Manhattan Beach officials say they're looking at the safety questions the incident raises. 

Martin is of two minds about the ban. He's a fisherman who likes to drop a line.  But he's also a swimmer.

"I was diving under the pier one time, and I got hooked by a fisherman's line in the leg," Martin said. "There's always the right way to do things, and there's always the wrong way to do things."

The ban is in effect until Sept. 7. Until then, Martin will have to find another way to teach school kids to  fish.

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