'Cowboy' shark hunters worry young victim's mum

Western Australia proposes paying professional shark hunters to patrol its coastline. Photo / AP
Western Australia proposes paying professional shark hunters to patrol its coastline. Photo / AP

The mother of a young surfer mauled to death by a great white shark has called for a legal challenge to the West Australian Government's controversial new "bait and kill" policy.

Kyle Burden, 21, was killed while bodyboarding in Bunker Bay in 2011.

He was one of six shark fatalities in the state's waters in the past two years, which this week prompted WA Premier Colin Barnett to unveil new measures to reassure the nervous public.

Professional shark hunters will be paid to patrol WA waters, with a licence to kill any shark bigger than 3m spotted in designated zones spanning large parts of the metropolitan and southwest coastline.

And baited hooks will also be placed along the coast to catch sharks, with a larger strike team ready to scramble into action in the event of an attack.

However, Sharon Burden asked how it would prevent "cowboy" fishermen hunting sharks.

"I would like to see a legal challenge that requires the Barnett Government to provide evidence to support their decision," Burden wrote in a letter to the West Australian.

"I think we would all benefit from an independent forum that allows us to hear the facts without the politics."

- AAP

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