One of the great white sharks caught off the Manhattan Beach Pier Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Eric Martin
The same unnamed fisherman who caught a great white shark in July and another early September reeled in two more off of the Manhattan Beach Pier Tuesday.
The first great white, measuring 5 to 6 feet, was caught around 10:30 a.m. The second one, measuring around 8 feet, was caught around 12:30 p.m., said director of Roundhouse Aquarium Eric Martin, who witnessed both events.
After being reeled to the surface, both sharks were cut loose, Martin said, as great white sharks are protected by federal law and have to be released when caught.
“He’s not putting blood in the water,” Martin said. “As long as he’s catching them and I’m around to cut it, that’s totally fine.”
Since last November, there have been at least seven definite sightings of great whites off of the Manhattan Beach Pier.
Last week, Martin said he heard people yell “Shark!” and when he got to the scene, he saw a great white coming in from the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier within about 50 feet of the surf.
Martin said he thinks that the abundance of squid off the coast could be attracting the great whites to the area. While young great whites are not known to feed on squid, large great whites are, he said.
Or it could be that the squids are attracting a large volume of rays, another food source for young great whites, Martin said.
“So somewhere, there’s a food chain going on here,” he said.
Martin said the young great whites pose little danger to surfers or swimmers.
“These are juvenile great white sharks,” Martin said. “There’s only ever been one documented report of an 8-footer biting a surfer in the leg, and that was in South Africa.”
In July, the fisherman caught a great white shark off the pier, measuring at about 5 to 7 feet. The man initially refused to cut it loose until police arrived and compelled him to do so. In September, he caught another shark measuring 7 to 8 feet.