THOUSANDS of people are expected to rally across the country on Saturday against a proposed "cull" of great white sharks at Western Australian beaches.
Following the sixth fatal attack off the WA coast in two years, the state government last month announced tougher measures aimed at preventing attacks.
Professional fishermen will hunt sharks that swim into baited areas near popular beaches in an aggressive new policy that the government has refused to label a cull.
They will kill any shark bigger than 3m spotted in designated zones, baited hooks will be placed along the coast to catch sharks and a larger strike team will be on call in the event of an attack.
There will be up to 72 drum lines deployed in stages between now and April.
Sea Shepherd Australia managing director Jeff Hansen, who immediately lashed out at the measures when they were revealed last month, has labelled the proposal "ineffective and barbaric".
He put the call out for people to attend a rally at Cottesloe Beach near Perth but rallies have sprung up across the nation - at Byron Bay in NSW, Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, St Kilda in Melbourne, Glenelg in South Australia, The Entrance on the NSW central coast and in other parts of WA.
Mr Hansen says the great white shark is a protected species vulnerable to extinction and that reports to the WA government advise against some of the measures set to be introduced.
RALLIES - Saturday January 4
- Cottesloe Beach Perth WA 10am
- Cable Beach Broome WA 10am
- Back Beach Bunbury WA 10am
- Glenelg Adelaide SA 12.30pm
- St Kilda Melbourne SA 12.30pm
- The Entrance Central Coast NSW 1pm
- Main Beach Byron Bay NSW 1pm
- Burleigh Heads Gold Coast QLD noon