California Shark Attack Has PETA Calling For A Great White Shark Fishing Ban In 2014

Patrick Frye

After a great white shark attack occurred near Manhattan Beach Pier, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has launched a campaign to ban fishing off of piers all over the South California area.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, a great white shark attack threw a surfer about three meters into the air. But what scares fishermen even more is a barracuda attack that was almost as bad as the average shark attack. The teen in that incident feared for his life since the deep slashes required many stitches and he was almost bit in the neck.

PETA claims the reason the shark attack occurred in the first place was because the great white shark had been hooked by a fisherman for around 40 minutes and ended up guiding the angry sea creature into the path of swimmers. On July 8, Manhattan Beach City Council enacted a 30-day ban on fishing from the pier after the shark attack, but PETA hopes to make the ban permanent.

PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman says the fishing ban would be for the safety of humans and claims future shark attacks in 2014 may be prevented:

"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. I hope that — in light of the dangers that angling poses to public safety and wildlife — you'll enact a permanent ban on pier fishing in Santa Monica."

To put the PETA shark campaign into perspective, the organization also likens the pain a human feels from a shark attack to the pain felt by the apex predator when it is caught by fishing:

"The injury recently suffered by a shark attack victim offers us a glimpse into the terrifying experience that these fish endure when they are hauled out of their environment only to be pitch-forked back into the water after their fins have been sliced off. While their fins are made into "delicacies" such as shark-fin soup, the sharks themselves either suffocate or slowly bleed to death."

Still, PETA does make a good point that NOAA says the shark population has decreased dramatically along the Southeastern United States and overfishing is blamed by some critics. But Pier Manager Rod Merl believes there needs to be a more balanced approach:

"Fishing has been part of the Pier since it was built over a hundred years ago and is not only a recreational activity but for a number of people who come it is a source of food. The City wants to balance this with a program to encourage safe, respectful and sustainable fishing practices on the pier. Heal the Bay is working on this idea with us – and for other piers in the Santa Monica Bay Area."

Do you think PETA is right that banning fishing will also help prevent future shark attacks in 2014? Or do you think the animal rights group is using the great white shark attack to further their overall agenda?