North Coast shark net trial

The NSW Government commenced a six-month trial of shark nets in December, to reduce the risk of shark encounters on the North Coast. The nets will be removed in June due to the annual whale migration. The trial complements the Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy, and the ongoing Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program from Newcastle to Wollongong.

DPI has met with community representatives to inform them of the trial, including possible locations. DPI also conducted a survey seeking community views.

The trial is approved under Schedule 6D to the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (PDF, 44.81 KB) which aims to promote safe use and enjoyment by the public of coastal beaches and other tidal waters by facilitating shark management trials.

The trial will be carried out in accordance with the Management Plan for the NSW North Coast Shark MeshingTrial (PDF, 428.6 KB).

DPI have prepared the Fauna Disentanglement Plan (PDF, 416.86 KB) in accordance with the Management Plan.

The NSW government will now work with shark scientists, the Commonwealth and the community to determine the future of the north coast nets with a decision expected by early spring. In addition, DPI will continue to consult with the Commonwealth on options for shark bite mitigation on the north coast.


Shark net trial 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 by catching large, potentially dangerous sharks aggregating near the netted beach
  • Shark nets currently used in NSW are 150 metres long by 6 metres deep, with a mesh size of 60 cm, set below the surface in about 10 to 12 metres of water, within 500 metres of the shore
  • Shark nets are fitted with ‘whale alarms’ and ‘dolphin pingers’ to deter marine mammals from the netted area
  • NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial Reports:

See the Shark Net FAQs (PDF, 56.31 KB)

See the Shark Net factsheet (PDF, 472.2 KB) for more information

See the locations of shark nets and smart drumlines on the North Coast (PDF, 95.82 KB)

See the NSW North Coast SMART drumlines reports.

See the Community drop-in stand schedule/roster (PDF, 37.44 KB)