That bastion of rational thought, PETA, is taking advantage of two recent shark bites to ramp up its campaign against fishing. At both Manhattan Beach in California and Okaloosa Island in Florida, it has been using a plane to fly a banner that says, “Keep Hookers Off Beach— No Fishing.” Yeah, it is just so clever with word play, equating anglers with prostitutes.
The incident in California does seem to call for a compromise of some kind regarding who can use the pier and adjoining beach and when they can use it. PETA and other zealots, meanwhile, want an outright ban on sportfishing.
At least Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth is seems to be the voice of reason.
“I don’t like that we’ve demonized fishermen because one guy was behaving seemingly very horribly,” she said. “I certainly want to make it safe for people to enter the water and water sports.”
She added that the city is considering limiting hours for fishing on the pier.
What did or did not happen when a swimmer came too close to the pier, where an angler was fighting a white shark— and was attacked— remains the object of debate. The angler has vigorously defended his actions, and the state has declined to prosecute him.
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