Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd has flagged a legal challenge to State Government plans to kill great white sharks close to popular beaches, saying it amounts to a cull and flouts Federal law.
Outgoing fisheries minister Troy Buswell said on Tuesday that the Government would set up two specially monitored zones in which baited drum lines would be used to catch great whites.
The zones would be declared for State waters between Quinns Rocks and Warnbro off the metropolitan coast and between Geographe Bay and Prevelly in the South West.
Commercial fishermen would be contracted to maintain the lines which would be left in the water between September and April each year.
It is understood the Government rejected using remote-controlled drones to patrol WA beaches. NSW is considering such an option.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he supported WA's decision to set drum lines but insisted the Commonwealth would not review the protected status of great whites.
Sea Shepherd director Jess Hansen said great whites were clearly a protected species and claimed the State Government's attempts to justify killing them were comparable to Japan's scientific whaling program.
"One of the things we're definitely looking at is the legality of what is going on here," he told Radio 6PR.
New Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said he did not think the term cull was applicable to the Government's policy.
"I much prefer mitigation," Mr Baston said.
The company that hopes to test WA's first shark barrier this summer, Form Designs, said last night that it had received approvals it needed to install the barrier at Coogee beach.
Form went public with its frustration at the red tape that had delayed its plans last month.
Pylons will be installed today and Form hopes to have the barrier in place by Christmas.