EDITOR'S NOTE: Warning, video contains foul language.
"We have no reason to believe that these fishermen were targeting great whites that day," Capt. Rebecca Hartman told the Los Angeles Times. She said an investigation is continuing, but the fishermen's action is not being actively investigated.
A ban on fishing off the Manhattan Beach pier was extended on Monday to Sept. 7, instituted after the shark attack.
Steven Robles, 50, was bitten Saturday by the great white shark believed to have been between seven and 10 feet long. The shark had been hooked by a fishing line and was struggling to get free when Robles swam by.
A fisherman who only identified himself as Jason told The Times a group of fishermen were trying to lure the shark out to sea before cutting the line. It is illegal to fish for sharks, and the fisherman said they were trying to catch a bat ray.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a permanent ban on fishing from the pier.
Some people who saw a video of the attack were angered by what they thought was the fishermen on the pier laughing at Robles' problems. But when they realized what was happening, they tried to warn other surfers to get out of the water -- and to shoo the shark back out to sea.
"So far, we have found nothing to indicate that this was malicious," Hartman said.
It is illegal to fish for great white sharks in California, and once fishermen realize that's what they had, they must immediate cut their line.
One fisherman said he did not cut the line for fear that the free shark would attack swimmers in the water.
--City News Service
See Patch's full coverage, including the story that broke the news first:
- UPDATED: Shark Attacks Swimmer Near Manhattan Beach Pier
- Were Fishermen Chumming the Waters Near Pier? Conflicting Answers
- Steven Robles: Encounter with Shark Not His First Time in Peril at Sea
- PETA Calls for Permanent Ban on Fishing from Manhattan Beach Pier
- Ban on Fishing from Manhattan Beach Pier Extended until Sept. 7
- How to Help Manhattan Beach's Shark Victim with His Medical Bills