SANTA MONICA—On Friday, September 15, a man caught a shark on the Santa Monica Pier shortly after 6 a.m. A Canyon News reporter was an eyewitness to the individual who captured the mammal. The angler who owned the rod was seated on a bench, about 20 feet away, relaxing and having a conversation with another angler, as both their rods rested on the pier’s bannister railing.
When he heard that heavy hissing sound that a reel makes when a bait is bitten off a fishing hook, the gentlemen thought he caught something. The sound reverberated across the firmament, as he shot up to his feet to obtain his rod before it was sucked into the ocean, hook, line, and sinker.
The anglers at Santa Monica Beach take their trips to the piers on Thursdays and Saturdays after 6 p.m. which is a popular time to fish, as are early mornings before 4 a.m. Last week a man caught a King Crab the size of a car’s tire. He was seen wrestling it into an orange plastic bag.
Fish, lobsters, and crabs that the pier’s anglers catch are stored away in ice box containers and plastic bags. Annual tests taken by Heal the Bay in “Beach Bummers List,” noted that Santa Monica ranks as one of top 10 dirtiest beaches in the entire state of California. Anglers have been warned by The Fish Contamination Education Collaborative about contaminated fish.
The notice has been posted on over 30 new signs at 24 popular fishing locations throughout Los Angeles County, and Santa Monica is one of them. The new signs have large lettering in English and Spanish with warning for individuals to not to eat white croaker, barred sand bass, black croaker, topsmelt and barracuda with depictions of each fish. Due to the manufacturing plants in Torrance that released residue in the sewage system from 1947-1971, that area, along with neighboring beach areas have been estimated to contain 100 tons of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl trichloroethane), a pesticide lethal to human beings, and possible carcinogen.
The sign is posted on the lower deck of the Santa Monica Pier, and has been disregarded by anglers who continue to sport for fish and the tourists who stand by watching them. On certain days, an older person bowing a Huqin can be heard, playing traditional Asian music. On Friday, the music created an atmosphere that blended well with the shark-catch.
After the six-foot white shark was caught, the angler informed Canyon News that it was his second shark catch of the day, as he arrived on the SM Pier at 4 a.m.