The Manhattan Beach City Council will decide today whether it wants to make a ban on fishing from the pier permanent. Fishing from the Manhattan Beach Pier has been barred temporarily after a Great White shark bit a swimmer on July 5. Many surfers and swimmers were shaken by the incident, which they say is a result of irresponsible fishing practices.
The shark was hooked on the line of a fisherman on the pier during the attack -- although fishing for sharks is already illegal, some of the pier fishers have big game in mind, and use metal lines and big bait. Critics of the ban argue that banning pier fishing is an unreasonable response to the incident, and that many people fish from the pier to cheaply feed or entertain their families.
What is the best way for swimmers and fishers to compromise to keep everyone safe? Should Manhattan Beach ban pier fishing?
Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times Columnist and Surfing enthusiast
Craig Shuman, marine region manager, California Department of Fish and Wildlife