NSW DPI's Shark Meshing 2019/20 Performance Report Released
- one critically endangered Greynurse shark was killed at the Bilgola Beach net during the 2019/20 SMP, another was found alive at Whale Beach and released
- a total of 18 non-target hammerhead species of sharks were caught in nets off our beaches during the 2019/20 SMP - only one was found alive and released
- two green turtles were found dead during the 2019/20 SMP - both at Narrabeen
- two nets, at Queenscliff and Harbord beaches, reported missing after severe weather conditions in early February 2020 were not recovered
- two drones will be employed by Surf Life Saving NSW for surveillance during the upcoming 2020/21 SMP
The NSW Government’s Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program includes 51 beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong. These beaches are netted by contractors using specially designed meshing nets to reduce the chances of shark encounters. The nets do not create a total barrier between swimmers and sharks, they are designed to intercept sharks near meshed beaches, which reduces the chance of a shark interaction.
While the nets cannot provide a guarantee that a shark interaction will never happen, the government believes they have been effective in greatly reducing the potential number of interactions.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), a division within NSW Trade & Investment, manages the NSW Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program. The program is a public safety measure introduced in 1937 to reduce the risk of shark attack at the State’s most popular public bathing beaches.
Under the current program, there are 51 beaches between Wollongong and Newcastle that are netted by contractors using specially designed meshing nets to reduce the chances of shark encounters. 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.
The program is split into seven regions:
- Central Coast North
- Central Coast South
- Sydney North
- Sydney Central
- Sydney South
The season is currently eight months long and begins on September 1st each year, ending on April 30th the following year.
A total of 480 marine animals were caught in the SMP during the 2019/20 meshing season, comprised of 50 target sharks and 430 non-target animals. One hundred and ninety-six animals (41%) were released alive.
The 50 target sharks comprised 42 White Sharks; 3 Bull Sharks; and 5 Tiger Sharks.
The 430 interactions with non-target animals consisted of:
- 231 non-target sharks, including Greynurse Sharks; Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks; a Great Hammerhead Shark; Smooth Hammerhead Sharks; Angel Sharks (Eastern Angel Sharks and an Australian Angel Shark); Port Jackson Sharks; Thresher Sharks; *Broadnose Sevengill Sharks; *Whaler Sharks (Bronze Whalers, Common Blacktip Sharks, Dusky Whalers, Silky Sharks; Spinner Sharks; and an unidentified whaler species), and *Shortfin Mako Sharks; (* reported as target sharks prior to 2017).
- 179 rays including, a Spinetail Devil Ray; Southern Eagle Rays; Australian Cownose Rays; Black Stingrays; a White Spotted Eagle Ray; a Manta Ray; Smooth Stingrays; and an unidentified ray.
- 10 marine reptiles comprised of: 8 Green Turtles; a Loggerhead Turtle; and an unidentified turtle.
- 7 marine mammals all being Common Dolphins.
- 3 interactions with other finfish (Australian Bonito, Frigate Mackerel, and a Yellowtail Kingfish).
Eighty-seven (18%) of the interactions were with threatened species comprised of: 42 White Sharks; 31 Greynurse Sharks; 8 Green Turtles; 4 Scalloped Hammerheads; 1 Loggerhead Turtle; and 1 Great Hammerhead Shark. Eight (2%) of the interactions were with protected species comprised of: 7 Common Dolphins; and 1 unidentified turtle species.
The trigger point for the objective of ‘minimising the impact on non-target species and threatened species’ was tripped in 2019/20 for Greynurse Sharks, Scalloped Hammerheads, Common Dolphins, Thresher Sharks, and finfish. Two of these Greynurse sharks were caught in nets on our beaches, one was gfound dead in the net at Bilgola Beach while another at Whale Beach was found alive an released.
During the 1 September 2019 - 30 April 2020 meshing period, seven shark-human interactions occurred at unmeshed beaches and were investigated by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). Within the SMP region a single interaction resulting in minor injuries to a surfer’s hand from an unidentified shark occurred at Wamberal Beach, an unmeshed beach, about 3km from the nearest SMP net at Terrigal Beach. Six interactions occurred outside of the SMP region: two resulted in minor injuries from Wobbegong sharks; another in minor injuries from an unidentified shark; and three interactions resulted in no injuries.
Outside of the 2019/20 meshing season, there were an additional six interactions in 2019/20, including the fatality of a 60-year-old surfer after being bitten by a White Shark at Kingscliff on the Far North Coast on June 7, 2020 and the fatality of a 15-year-old surfer at Wooli Beach on the Far North Coast on July 10, 2020.
In the other four interactions, an ocean swimmer suffered minor wounds to the chest after being bitten by a Greynurse Shark at Shelly Beach, Manly on 2 July 2019, a surf-ski paddler had his ski bitten by a White Shark at Macmasters beach on June 13, 2020, two snorkelers had a close encounter with a Bronze Whaler at Bulli on June 14, 2020, and a 35-year-old surfer suffered a wound to her leg at Shelly Beach, Port Macquarie on August 15, 2020.
Seven nets were reportedly damaged by whales during the 2019/20 season including:
• 3 September 2019, Sydney North contractor reported that the net at Whale Beach had been torn in half; believed to be from a whale. All net mesh and ropes were recovered.
Another five nets were reportedly vandalised during the 2019/20 season including:
- 4 October 2019, Sydney Central contractor and DPI observer reported suspected vandalism of the net at North Steyne with approximately 60m of mesh being cut.
- 11 October 2019, Sydney Central contractor and DPI observer reported suspected vandalism of the net at North Steyne with a large section of mesh being cut.
Nine nets were also reported missing after severe weather conditions in early February 2020, six of which were subsequently recovered. Three nets were not recovered, those being from North Wollongong, Queenscliff, and Harbord beaches.
Photo: Sea Turtle caught in a Ghost Net.
Between the 2009/10 and 2016/17 meshing seasons, the Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program (SMP) operated in accordance with Joint Management Agreements (JMAs) and an associated Management Plan authorised by the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (FM Act) and the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act).
A new, single JMA under the FM Act was prepared in 2017 and the 2017/18 meshing season marked the beginning of SMP operations under the 2017 JMA. Some of the key changes to the JMA were refined trigger points and a reduction in the number of target species from 12 to three (White Shark, Bull Shark and Tiger Shark).
The JMAs included provisions for 5-yearly reviews, and those reviews gave rise to a single 2017 JMA between the then Minister for Primary Industries and the then Chief Executive of the Office of Environment and Heritage (now the Coordinator General for the Department of Environment, Energy & Science) in accordance with section 221W(3) of the FM Act. This Annual Performance Report was prepared in accordance with the 2017 JMA and the 2017 Management Plan for the SMP (https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/sharks/management/shark-meshing-bather-protectionprogram).
The objectives of the JMA are to:
1. Minimise the impact of shark meshing on fish and marine vegetation which are a threatened species, population or ecological community, and on marine mammals, marine birds and marine reptiles which are protected fauna or a threatened species, population or ecological community.
2. Ensure that shark meshing does not jeopardise the survival or conservation status of threatened species, populations or ecological communities, or cause species that are not threatened to become threatened.
To achieve the objectives of the JMA, the DPI will:
- only carry out shark meshing in accordance with the JMA and the associated Management Plan.
- only carry out shark meshing during the meshing season (1 September - 30 April of the following year).
- ensure that nets are fitted with acoustic warning devices for cetaceans.
- require that contractors comply with by-catch reduction protocols and release protocols contained in the Management Plan and any release plans.
- continue research into methods of minimising by-catch of non-target species through implementation of the Strategic Research and Monitoring Program contained in the Management Plan.
- provide comprehensive release plans to the parties to the JMA as required.
The objectives of the Management Plan are to:
1. Reduce the risk to humans from shark attack at beaches subject to the SMP, and, consistent with that objective.
2. Minimise the impact on non-target species and to ensure that the SMP does not jeopardise the survival or conservation status of threatened species, populations and ecological communities, or cause species that are not threatened to become threatened.
3. Minimise occupational health and safety risks to contractors and agency personnel associated with implementing the SMP.
4. Ensure that monitoring and reporting on the SMP is undertaken in a transparent manner.
The JMA and the Management Plan require an Annual Performance Report to be prepared and submitted to the parties to the JMA and relevant Scientific Committees convened under the FM Act and Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) by 31 July each year.
The observer program was implemented with observers present on 43% of all net checks (hauls) undertaken by SMP contractors. Observers continued to focus on ensuring collection of biological samples in accordance with the Strategic Research and Monitoring Program. Biological samples (or whole animals) were taken from 228 of the 284 animals found dead in the nets in 2019/20.
To satisfy the Observer Program requirements, four people were employed as ‘observers’ for the eight months of the SMP; two observer positions being fulltime (one permanent and one fulltime temporary) and two employed on a casual basis. Two of the observers conducted their duties predominantly in the Hunter, Central Coast North and Central Coast South regions, with the other two observers focused efforts in the Sydney North, Sydney Central, Sydney South and Illawarra regions; however, observers were not restricted to specific regions and were used across all regions as required and when available. Observer hours were reduced towards the end of the meshing season (approximately five weeks) with DPI implementing government COVID-19 guidelines associated with social distancing and reduced travel. Observers also assisted the Shark Scientist with collation of data, dissections, and cataloguing of collected biological samples, purchasing and maintaining acoustic alarms, and other duties associated with the SMP.
Outcomes of the Observer Program for the 2019/20 meshing season include:
1. Catches of target and non-target species taken in nets were certified by the observer where they were present at the time and included in monthly catch data sheets (records held by DPI Fisheries, Ourimbah).
2. The observers provided accurate details for all witnessed net inspections using iPhones equipped with a customised data recording application. All the data are uploaded and stored on the Fisheries Compliance Database. Figure 2 shows the catch numbers recorded by the contractors when an observer was present or absent.
3. Details for all marine mammals and reptiles captured in nets were reported to DPI andDPIE-EES via a monthly report.
4. Collection of 156 biological samples and 72 whole animals.
Contractors are required to check their set nets every 72 hours weather permitting. This commitment was met on most occasions with 93% of set net inspections taking place within the 72-hour timeframe. The occasions where this requirement was not met, was due to severe weather conditions. The intention of the 72-hour inspection timeframes is to potentially increase the chances of survival of any marine life caught in the nets. The 2019/20 report states there is no intention at present to increase the inspections or shorten the timeframe requirement.
During the 2019/20 meshing season there were no shark-human interactions at meshed beaches of the SMP, so the trigger point for ‘reducing the risk to humans from shark attacks at beaches of the SMP’ was not tripped. The Management Plan trigger point related to the objective of ‘minimise OHS risks associated with implementing the SMP’ was tripped with two minor incidents being reported by DPI staff during the meshing season. The trigger point for ‘transparent monitoring and reporting’ was not tripped in 2019/20.
In 2019/20, DPI met all requirements of the JMA and associated Management Plan.
The Annual Performance Report has not identified a need for any amendments to the Management Plan or JMA. A trigger point review report for ‘minimising the impact on non-target species and threatened species’ and ‘minimise OHS risks associated with implementing the SMP’ needs to be prepared by the NSW DPI within six months of this Annual Performance Report.
The report records that a decline in the number of shark sightings in the SLSNSW database between 2016/17 and 2018/19 reflects a change in the way SLSNSW records shark sightings on patrolled beaches. This was because the number of reported sightings impacted the incident management process within the State Operations Centre (SOC). Patrollers and the general public, presumably following heightened awareness from media focus, were communicating several unconfirmed sightings daily. As a result, SLSNSW started recording only sightings where a lifesaver or lifeguard was able to confirm the presence of a shark by a second sighting.
The increased number of shark sightings for the period in this report reflects the use of drones by SLSNSW to conduct aerial surveillance over patrolled beaches in NSW as part of the three years of trials for this technology. This increase is unlikely to represent an increase in sharks along NSW beaches, but more likely to highlight the value of drone aerial surveillance in detecting sharks (Butcher et al., 2019).
In the Sydney region SLSNSW recorded 25 sharks were sighted during the 2019/20 reporting period.
From 2006 to 2036 the NSW population is projected to grow by over 2.3 million due to natural increase and net overseas migration, while Sydney's population is projected to grow by 1.7 million people (DECCW, 2009). An increase in beach usage in the area of the SMP is expected into the foreseeable future given these predictions and recent data collected by SLS NSW.
SLS NSW provided the following beach visitation figures for the past ten years for the regions listed. The recorded beach visitation is the combined total of attendance as assessed in the morning at the start of each patrol, the mid patrol point (1pm) and in the evening at the end of each patrol for the period 25 September to 25 April of the next consecutive year. The summer beach visitation within the area of the SMP over the last ten years averaged over 5 million people per annum. The slight drop in beach attendance in 2019/20 may be related to reduced outdoor activities and travel in the latter months of this period as a result of government initiatives to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The NSW DPI supported research into unmanned aerial vehicle applicability for marine and coastal research has demonstrated that drones are an effective assessment tool to quantify beach users across a range of environmental conditions and thereby improve coastal management decisions (Provost et al., 2019). NSW DPI have supported SLSNSW with drones and training of lifesavers and it is envisaged that these will be used for beach management purposes, including beach counts, as well as water safety.
The NSW Shark Management Strategy has continued trialling alternative non-lethal shark bite mitigation measures, including SMART Drumlines (SDLs) which are designed to alert contractors as soon as a shark is captured on the gear (https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/sharks/management/smart-drumlines), thereby reduce marine wildlife mortalities whilst providing bather protection. The SMP scientist assisted colleagues in Reunion Island with analysis and drafts of a manuscript assessing the impact of SDLs (baits) on movement and abundance of Bull Sharks and found no evidence that Bull Shark nearshore presence was linked to the deployment of SDLs and their baited hooks (Guyomard et al., 2020). This is an important finding as historically there has been concerns in many sectors of beach going public that the presence of baits would attract target sharks inshore. These results support use of drumlines (SMART Drumlines or traditional drumlines, as used in QLD and South Africa) to capture sharks already within the area without attracting them from further away and increasing the risk to beachgoers.
Following the successful trails of SDLs on the NSW far north coast and their reduced impact on non-target species while still catching target sharks SMART Drumlines were deployed for 3 months, from February to April 2019, in three of the SMP regions (Hunter, Sydney North and Sydney Central) during 2018/19. Although catches were low and precluded statistical scientific analysis comparing catch between the SDLs and shark nets, results highlighted the benefits of SMART Drumlines over nets particularly regarding non-target species catch.
The DPI shark scientist has over 30 years of experience in electro-repelling of sharks and regularly reviews any new technologies that may assist in developing non-lethal shark control measures. All data to date suggests that the electric shark repelling technology presently available may be of limited effectiveness in NSW coastal waters; however, collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board (KZNSB, South Africa) has been ongoing with the aim to test their newly developed electric cable in NSW waters. Representatives from the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board and Ocean Guardian met with SMP representatives during May 2019 to discuss potential sites to trial a new electric cable barrier for sharks; however, the KZNSB subsequently opted to run trials of their prototype off Western Australia beaches.
Distribution, abundance, biology and ecology of non-target species affected by the SMP- Activities in 2019/20:
Samples for Great Hammerhead Sharks (Sphyrna mokarran) caught in the SMP contributed to research in collaboration with colleagues at Newcastle University investigating resource use this species off eastern Australia. This work has now been published as Raoult et al., (2019).
All necropsies of marine mammals and sea turtles caught in the SMP were conducted by veterinary pathologists from the Taronga Zoo. Catch data for marine mammals continues to contribute to the Australian Registry for Wildlife Health database administered by the Taronga Zoo.
All deceased Greynurse Sharks are retrieved whole and contribute to the ongoing NSW DPI Fisheries research program on this species.
Deceased Australian Cownose rays (Rhinoptera neglecta) and Southern Eagle Rays (Myliobatis australis) were retained for examination by a new Master in Research project through Macquarie University.
Seven Greynurse Sharks released alive from the shark nets were tagged with pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs). The report states appears to have been a manufacturing failure in an entire batch of PSATs that affected tags deployed both in the SMP and on sharks tagged through the Shark Management Strategy. However, several of the tags were recovered after washing ashore. Overall, only one tag was silent post-release while a second one was recovered but data are unavailable due to this fault. Two of the seven released sharks are known to have died after release.
Genetic samples of Greynurse Sharks caught in the SMP contributed to a new estimate of the effective population size for the endangered east Australian stock for this species (Reid-Anderson et al., 2019). The low estimated effective number of 400 breeders in the population highlights the need to effectively conserve this species and reduce human-induced impacts on the population such as mortalities from fishing activities, including the SMP. As such, the SMP has initiated a program to tag released Greynurse Sharks with pop-up satellite archival tags (PSATs) to determine the post-release survivorship of these animals.
Due to late arrival of the PSATs only one Greynurse shark was tagged during the 2018/19 season. This shark was released from Bondi and seen and filmed off the Long Reef, Dee Why, aggregation site 18 km away by one of the PhD students 47 days after release. The shark was swimming strongly with no evidence of distress due to the PSAT. The PSAT popped off and surfaced after 107 days. Unfortunately, this occurred during a strong weather front with powerful winds and >3m swell. As a result, the tag was not able to establish a strong connection with the overhead ARGOS satellites and no accurate location was provided. Unfortunately, this inclement weather precluded attempts to retrieve the tag at sea and it was last heard of travelling south off Jervis Bay. The weather also impeded the number of successful data uploads to satellite, but data collected will contribute to the NSW DPI Fisheries database on Greynurse Shark movements. The data indicates that this shark survived capture and release from the Bondi shark net.
Monthly catch summaries for the 2019/20 meshing season for our area:
Detailed Catch Report - 1 September 2019 to 28 September 2019
Avalon 5/09/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Dead and decomposed
Palm 14/09/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Warriewood 19/09/2019 Delphinus delphis Common Dolphin Dead
Palm 20/09/2019 Alopias vulpinus Thresher Shark Dead
Bilgola 26/09/2019 Notorynchus cepedianus Broadnose Sevengill Shark Dead
Bilgola 26/09/2019 Carcharhinus brachyurus Bronze Whaler Dead
Palm 26/09/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Bilgola 27/09/2019 Carcharhinus brachyurus Bronze Whaler Dead
North Narrabeen 4/09/2019 Chelonia mydas Green Turtle Dead
North Steyne 20/09/2019 Carcharhinus brachyurus Bronze Whaler Alive & Released
Detailed Catch Report - 29 September 2019 to 26 October 2019
Bilgola 4/10/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Dead
Whale 7/10/2019 Carcharodon carcharias White Shark Dead
Bilgola 8/10/2019 Heterodontus portusjacksoni Port Jackson Shark Alive & Released
Palm 17/10/2019 Carcharodon carcharias White Shark Dead
Newport 24/10/2019 Carcharhinus brachyurus Bronze Whaler Dead
Newport 24/10/2019 Dasyatis brevicaudata Smooth Stingray Alive & Released
Whale 25/10/2019 Carcharias taurus Greynurse Shark Alive & Released
Mona Vale 25/10/2019 Dasyatis brevicaudata Smooth Stingray Alive & Released
Harbord 4/10/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
North Steyne 11/10/2019 Squatina albipunctata Eastern Angel Shark Dead
North Steyne 11/10/2019 Notorynchus cepedianus Broadnose Sevengill Shark Dead
Detailed Catch Report - 27 October 2019 to 23 November 2019
Palm 31/10/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Palm 4/11/2019 Isurus oxyrinchus Shortfin Mako Dead
Palm 6/11/2019 Squatina albipunctata Eastern Angel Shark Dead
Whale 7/11/2019 Carcharodon carcharias White Shark Dead
Newport 14/11/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Palm 21/11/2019 Carcharhinus obscurus Dusky Whaler Dead
Harbord 15/11/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
North Narrabeen 21/11/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Detailed Catch Report - 24 November 2019 to 21 December 2019
Bilgola 9/12/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Bilgola 18/12/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Curl Curl 14/12/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Detailed Catch Report - 22 December 2019 to 18 January 2020
Warriewood 23/12/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Bilgola 27/12/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Newport 30/12/2019 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Palm 30/12/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Warriewood 30/12/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Avalon 2/01/2020 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Bilgola 2/01/2020 Carcharhinus limbatus Common Blacktip Dead
Queenscliff 27/12/2019 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Manly 1/01/2020 unidentified turtle unidentified Alive & Released
Narrabeen 7/01/2020 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Narrabeen 7/01/2020 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Dead
Detailed Catch Report - 19 January 2020 to 15 February 2020
Warriewood 6/02/2020 Sphyrna lewini Scalloped Hammerhead Dead
Palm 11/02/2020 Sphyrna mokarran Great Hammerhead Alive & Released
Narrabeen 19/01/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Dee Why 14/02/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Narrabeen 14/02/2020 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Detailed Catch Report – 16 February 2020 to 14 March 2020
Palm 18/02/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Warriewood 18/02/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Palm 21/02/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Warriewood 21/02/2020 Sphyrna lewini Scalloped Hammerhead Dead
Whale 21/02/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Warriewood 24/02/2020 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Curl Curl 19/02/2020 Carcharhinus limbatus Common Blacktip Dead
Manly 2/03/2020 Rhinoptera neglecta Australian Cownose Ray Dead
Detailed Catch Report – 15 March 2020 to 11 April 2020
Warriewood 19/03/2020 Myliobatis australis Southern Eagle Ray Alive & Released
Palm 25/03/2020 Sphyrna zygaena Smooth Hammerhead Dead
Narrabeen 1/04/2020 Chelonia mydas Green Turtle Dead
Detailed Catch Report – 12 April 2020 to 01 May 2020
Avalon 20/04/2020 Delphinus delphis Common Dolphin Dead
Bilgola 24/04/2020 Galeocerdo cuvier Tiger shark Dead
Bilgola 24/04/2020 Carcharias taurus Greynurse Shark Dead
Dee Why 21/04/2020 Isurus oxyrinchus Shortfin Mako Alive & Released
Read the Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program 2019/20 Annual Performance Report
2020/21 NSW Shark Program
The NSW Government will spend $8 million in 2020/21 on a new strategy to protect beachgoers from sharks.
This is the biggest annual expenditure on beachgoer safety in relation to shark encounters at NSW beaches in the history of the NSW Government, following the conclusion of the $16 million, five-year Shark Management Strategy.
The 2020/21 NSW Shark Program includes:
- Drone surveillance at 34 key swimming locations
- 35 SMART drumlines in high risk locations on the North Coast
- 21 VR4G listening stations along the NSW coastline
- The continuation of the Shark Meshing Bather Protection program, which has run since 1937, at 51 beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong
- Community awareness and education programs
Sydney's Northern Beaches will have 15 nets installed and 2 Surf Life Saving NSW drones employed through the 2020/2021 Season and continue the shark tagging program.
The Stay SharkSmart app allows people to check the latest sightings and tagged shark detections before you hit the water in NSW.
Download the SharkSmart app for iOS visit the iTunes store, or for Android visit Google Play.
View the 2020/21 NSW Shark Program (PDF, 1805.04 KB)