Claims that Fisheries Department officers caught a baby dolphin and wrapped it under a tarpaulin as part of a cover-up have been slapped down by the State Government.
The WA Greens leapt on suggestions yesterday that Fisheries officers had pulled up a dolphin ensnared by a drum line off Leighton beach and put it under a cover.
A photo provided by an anti-shark protester showed what appeared to be an animal wrapped in a tarpaulin on the back of patrol vessel Houtman.
The photo prompted an angry outburst from Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren, who claimed the animal could have been a juvenile dolphin but Fisheries had attempted to hide it.
Responding to the claims in Parliament, Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the animal in question was a tiger shark.
Mr Baston also said it was standard procedure for fishers carrying out the Government's drum-line policy to wrap caught sharks in a tarpaulin.
A spokesman for Premier Colin Barnett questioned the tactics of the policy's critics, saying they were misleading.