NBC Los Angeles conducted an interview with Michael Castillo, the fisherman who caught and killed a shark from Huntington Beach Pier last month. The shark in question was a juvenile great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias), which is a protected species in California waters. However, Castillo believed he had caught a shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), a species unprotected by law.
A warden from the California Department of Fish and Game examined Castillo’s catch and also identified the shark as a mako. However, the warden took teeth samples from the shark which later confirmed the species as being a white shark. After the shark was positively identified, the warden returned and confiscating the shark.
Castillo was not issued a citation for the white shark. However, NBC LA reports that DFG officials are still investigating the catch, and it will be up to the Orange County District Attorney’s office to decide whether charges will be filed. Castillo maintains that he did not know his catch was a protected white shark.