North Coast shark net trial

Updated: 17 August 2018

The second North Coast Net Trial has concluded

A second shark net trial commenced in November 2017, at five beaches on the NSW North Coast following a review of the first trial.

The second trial took place at the same five beaches - Lighthouse Beach (Ballina), Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina), Seven Mile Beach (Lennox Head)‚ÄČand Evans Head – and was timed to follow the peak southward whale migration period.

The second shark net trial concluded in May 2018. Following extensive community consultation, a third trial of shark nets is not planned for next Summer.

Up to 35 SMART drumlines will continue to be trialled daily (weather permitting) between Lennox Head and Evans Head, as well as aerial surveillance on weekends and school holidays in the region. NSW DPI is working with beach authorities on further drone trials on the North Coast.

View the community survey results on the second North Coast Net Trial

Community consultation was undertaken to monitor the levels of acceptance to the presence and operation of the shark nets via community surveys.

Three surveys were conducted (before and at the end of the first trial and at the end of the second trial). Each included random and representative telephone surveys of over 600 residents in the Ballina Shire and Evans Head region, as well  as an online survey for anyone to answer.

Read more about the community survey results on the second North Coast Shark Net Trial:



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 used in the first 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.

Reports and data from shark net trials