Thousands gather at Cottesloe Beach to protest shark kills
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 January, 2014 - Thousands of Western Australians gathered at Cottesloe Beach to protest the state government's controversial shark mitigation program. The crowd, estimated to be more than 4000, is protesting the program, which will see baited drum lines placed one kilometre offshore at Ocean Reef and Mullaloo, Trigg and Scarborough, Floreat and City Beach, Cottesloe and North Cottesloe and Port and Leighton beaches.
Shark fishermen will patrol WA waters and kill any tiger, bull or great white shark bigger than three metres spotted in the designated zones, while any sharks hooked on the drum lines will be killed and disposed of offshore. The announcement outraged conservation groups and many ordinary WA residents including Natalie Banks.
Ms Banks, a long-time scuba diver, organised Saturday's rally, with WA Shark Conservation founder Ross Weir, Greens senator Rachel Siewert and MLC Lynn MacLaren all giving impassioned speeches following a rousing welcome to country from Ben Taylor. Mr Taylor told the crowd that sharks were part of his culture and his spirituality.
Mr Weir, a long-time campaigner for great white sharks, said the state government's policy would result in the destruction of not just sharks, but also stingrays, large fish, turtles and dolphins.