A video of fishermen catching an apparent juvenile great white shark in Huntington Beach, California, has sparked outrage and an investigation.
State Fish and Wildlife authorities are looking into the viral clip, which shows the shark dangling awkwardly from the pier as anglers reel it in to cheers from onlookers, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The footage ends as the shark thrashes around on the pier while people take pictures.
State Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan told CBS that the fate of the shark was unclear, but investigators are on the case.
Great whites are protected by law. Those who catch them are mandated to quickly release them or possibly pay up to $10,000 in fines, Hughan said.
Determining for sure whether the shark is a great white would be difficult because the video is “grainy,” Hughan said.
The reaction of many who watched the video isn’t quite as murky.
“My first thought is, the fisherman needs to be informed on what type of fish they are catching and ignorance is no excuse,” Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis told The Orange County Register. “You have to be an educated fisherman.”
On YouTube, where observer Mike Hefner posted the video above on Feb. 24, one viewer said: “Protected species ― not protected from morons.”
“This is beyond aggravating,” wrote another.
Hefner told CBS that the fishermen hoisted the shark with a large rope and a gaff.
The incident comes amid several great white shark sightings and encounters in the area, the Register noted.