The drumlines designed to catch and kill large sharks off the
West Australian coastline - which have caused much anger
among anti-culling activists - are set to appear in the water
The private contractor charged with laying and monitoring the
drumlines in the south-west of the state is believed to have
been told to get started in time for the Australia Day long
The Fremantle-based fisherman, who has appeared in the media
but has not been identified, will lay the lines at beaches at
Old Dunsborough, Meelup and Castle Rock, before moving on to
Gracetown - the site of the fatal attack late last year that
prompted the WA government's controversial policy.
Old Dunsborough beach is where a 300m-long shark barrier is
being trialled, 100m from the shore, just in time for the
The drumlines will appear off the south-west first, after
federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt granted WA an
exemption under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act, allowing the protected great white shark to
But plans to set drumlines off Perth beaches have been
delayed, after potential professional contractors pulled out
because of alleged threats from environmental activists.
Government fisheries officers will now be ordered to perform
that duty, beginning within weeks, according to the state
Protesters, however, are determined to disrupt those efforts,
with a national rally planned for February 1.
Even Hollywood star Ricky Gervais, the creator of the
smash-hit comedy The Office, has appeared on social media
holding up a sign decrying the WA government.
Gervais later said on Twitter: "Animals don't have a voice.
But I do. A loud one. I'm a f****** big mouth. My voice is
for them. And I'll never shut up while they suffer."
The death of Chris Boyd at Gracetown was the seventh in WA
waters since August 2010 and came only a month after abalone
diver Greg Pickering was mauled.
In seeking the exemption, the state government said the spike
in attacks had dented tourism and leisure-based businesses,
with recreational diving operators reporting a greater than
90 per cent plunge in people learning to dive.
But the plan has incensed conservationists, with the Humane
Society labelling it "a complete disgrace", while thousands
of protesters recently rallied against it on a Cottesloe
beach frequented by the state's Liberal premier.
Mr Hunt confirmed that after this summer trial, which ends on
April 30, there would have to be a full federal environment
act assessment if the policy was to continue.