Shark cull petition goes to WA premier

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A petition signed by more than 8000 West Australians against shark culling will be presented at Premier Colin Barnett’s office – but the premier is still on leave.

Organisers of the petition said despite Mr Barnett not being at his office, they would go ahead with the presentation on Thursday because the tender for the new catch and kill policy would likely be announced this week or early next week.

Andy Battle, a Surf Life Saving WA member who signed the petition, moved to WA from the UK seven years ago and said he had raised his four children around beaches.

“We swim where it’s safe. I think awareness is the main thing,” he said.

“Protecting sharks and other marine life is critical to my kids’ future.”

Mr Battle said there was not enough evidence or science behind the government’s catch and kill policy, which was instituted in response to another fatal shark attack off WA waters late last year.

The guidelines include one-kilometre kill zones off the coast and baited drum lines intended to catch dangerous sharks like great white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks.

Any shark longer than three metres caught on the 72 baited hooks will be humanely killed by commercial fishermen maintaining the baited hooks.

In the original tender documents, it was stated the government wanted the professional fishermen in the water to bait and monitor the drum lines by January 10.

But almost a week later, the tender panel has not yet finalised the contracts.

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