Explore North coast net trial

Two shark nets trials were undertaken at five beach locations on the North Coast of NSW: Lennox Head, Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina) Lighthouse Beach (Ballina) and Evans Head.

Trial one was undertaken from 8 December 2016 and 30 May 2017 and trial two was undertaken from 23 November 2017 and 2 May 2018.

Shark net facts

  • Shark nets are installed near a beach, according to prevailing conditions, generally parallel to the beach near surf clubs and patrolled swimming areas
  • Shark nets do not create an enclosed area, or provide a barrier between beachgoers and sharks. They are designed to reduce the likelihood of shark interactions.
  • Shark nets used in the trial were 150 metres long by 4 to 6 metres deep, with a mesh size of 60 cm, set below the surface in about 10 to 12 metres of water, approximately 500 metres from shore.
  • Shark nets are fitted with ‘whale alarms’ and ‘dolphin pingers’ to deter marine mammals from the netted area.

Community feedback during the trial

Community surveys were undertaken to monitor community sentiment on using shark nets and SMART drumlines. These provided DPI with invaluable insights into community attitudes about shark nets and the NSW Government's shark management strategy. All surveys revealed the number of non-target marine animals captured in the net trials was a key concern.

Results and data from the trial