Surfers, divers, environmentalists, marine biologists and even the family of a shark attack victim have all voiced their opposition to the cull, which was meant to decrease the number of fatal shark attacks in the area (Western Australia has seen seven fatal attacks in the past three years).
The Guardian points out that, despite government claims that the frequency of attacks is increasing, Australia has averaged just one shark-related fatality per year for the last 50 years.
Along with the beach protesters, other high-profile commenters are getting in on the fray. Richard Branson told Fairfax Radio that the cull will backfire, and even deter tourists. "I'm sure one of the reasons he [Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett] did it was because he was thinking it would encourage tourism," Branson said. "It's going to do quite the reverse, I think. You're advertising a problem that doesn't exist in a major way and you're deterring people from wanting to come to Perth and your beautiful countryside around it. All you're going to achieve, I think, is to worry people unnecessarily."