- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) - Wildlife officials say they’ll be watching to make sure fishermen don’t try to hook great white sharks congregating off the Southern California coast.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife Service says great whites are a state and federal protected species. It’s illegal to fish for them and if caught accidentally they must be released immediately.

Wildlife officers will be looking out for illegal shark anglers at the region’s beaches.

Friday’s warning comes a week after a boat captain freed a great white that was hooked and tangled in fishing gear off of Dana Point.

Chris Pica tells the Orange County Register (https://bit.ly/2qnRGfu ) that he believes the shark was deliberately hooked because the gear included a steel cable and heavy-duty fishing line.

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