01/02/2014 09:08 GMT | Updated 01/02/2014 11:59 GMT

Australia Shark Cull Protests See Thousands Gather On Beaches In Perth And Sydney

Thousands of people have gathered on Australian beaches to protest the country's controversial shark cull.

Western Australia's government is taking the step to try to prevent attacks on swimmers which have killed six people in two years.

Opponents argue the cull will make no difference to the number of sharks and breaches international obligations to protect Great Whites.

shark cull

Protesters against shark culling in the Western Australian Coast line hold up signs at Cottesloe Beach

The cull will involve 72 baited hooks close to the shore off Perth and any sharks over three metres in length will be destroyed.

Conservationists also suggest other marine life such as dolphins and turtles could suffer.

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Around 2,000 people gathered at Manly Beach in Sydney and 6,000 are expected at Cottesloe Beach in Perth.

Katherine Cook at Many Beach said: "I'm really angry and incensed that we can't coexist with anything," reports the Telegraph.

"We are going into their (sharks) environment. Why can't we coexist?"

Last month the region's acting premier said it was wrong to call it a cull, saying it was focused only on areas where the public could be in danger.

"If it were a cull we would be out catching sharks the length and breadth of the state," he said.

Tony Abbott's government has come under fire in recent weeks for its apparent lack of concern for the environment.

Last week it was announced authorities had approved a project to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park.