The West

Saboteurs may be charged
Back in action: Fishermen rebait the drum lines off Dunsborough. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Police will meet today to decide whether to push for charges after protesters opposed to the State Government's shark-kill policy allegedly removed bait from drum lines to sabotage them.

Anti-shark cull campaigner Ross Weir suggested yesterday activists had allegedly taken bait from the hooks of drum lines about 1km off Dunsborough and Meelup beaches in the South West.

The lines had been deployed on Sunday just hours after the commercial fisherman contracted to do the work in the South West had disposed of the first shark caught under the policy.

Mr Weir, founder of West Australians for Shark Conservation, told Fairfax radio bait had been removed from the lines and he vowed to use "whatever tactics necessary" to foil the policy.

Although he qualified his remarks by saying activists would act "within legal bounds", the Government noted that interfering with legitimate fishing gear and activities was illegal.

Individuals faced up to $25,000 in fines and 12 months jail for unlawfully tampering with fishing equipment.

Interfering with a lawful fishing activity carries a possible $10,000 fine for individuals.

Responding to the claims, Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said "police have been advised of the allegations made by Mr Ross Weir and will take action as appropriate".

The West Australian

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