A swimmer in Manhattan Beach, CA was bitten this morning by a juvenile great white shark! Predictably, the headlines are screaming "Shark Attack Injures Swimmer!" and "Swimmer Attacked by Shark!"

Here is what actually happened. A man, fishing from the pier, caught a juvenile great white shark and was fighting it for 40 minutes. Trying to get away, the shark started biting at the line and in doing so, bit a swimmer. It is illegal to fish for great white sharks in California. Here is an excerpt from the California Fish and Game regulations.

"As defined in state law, “take” means “hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.” Anyone who takes a white shark without a permit may be cited for violations of CESA and subject to criminal prosecution"

As usual, when something happens with a white shark, the shark gets the blame, not the fisherman who was endangering the public, by fighting a great white shark in waters crowded with swimmers on a holiday weekend! The headlines should read something like this "Illegal shark fishing causing serious harm to swimmer!"

Luckily the swimmer has non life-threatening injuries and we hope he'll have a speedy recovery. 

Martin Graf
Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.