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NSW Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) publications

NSW DPI manages the NSW Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program (SMP) in accordance with joint management agreements and associated management plan. A total of 51 ocean beaches from Wollongong to Newcastle are currently netted between 1 September and 30 April each year using. The nets are ‘sunk nets’ set below the surface in about 10 to 12 metres of water, within 500 metres of the shore. The nets are fitted with acoustic warning devices to alert dolphins and whales.

Since the introduction of the Shark Meshing Program in 1937 there has been just one fatal shark attack at a meshed beach in NSW. The program continues today across 51 high-use beaches.

NSW DPI reviewed the SMP and prepared the Report into the NSW Shark Meshing Program, which describes the operational aspects of the SMP, assesses its potential environmental impacts, and made some recommendations as to how to mitigate those impacts. The Report is an important reference source to inform public understanding of the SMP, and provides a baseline against which future changes can be measured.


NSW DPI scientists undertake a range of scientific research and some of the papers relating specifically to sharks are listed below. For more information refer to fisheries and ecosystems research.