Shark nets to be rolled out at Newcastle beaches again over the summer

In a disappointing decision for many, the NSW Government has decided to continue using shark nets along the Newcastle coastline. 

NSW Premier Chris Minns confirmed last night that the government’s shark management program would continue this summer. That’s despite a Department of Primary Industries report that found almost 90 per cent of the marine animals caught in the nets last year were non-target species like turtles, rays and dolphins which prompted calls from a number of councils to have the nets done away with.

Newcastle Council was one of those. 

During the 2022/23 season, the government’s data on the shark meshing program showed it caught 228 marine animals across NSW that included 24 target sharks – 18 White Sharks and 6 Tiger Sharks – and 204 non-target animals. 37 per cent of the animals were released alive. 

Minister for Agriculture, Regional NSW and Western NSW Tara Moriarty said they will continue to work with Councils to assess options for different strategies in the future.

“Nets are only set from September to April to avoid the majority of the whale migration season and are fitted with acoustic devices designed to deter marine mammals from interacting with them.

“The NSW Government will continue to listen to coastal councils and their communities to ensure that local preferences are balanced against effective, evidence-based shark mitigation for beachgoers.”

SMART drumlines, drones and tagged shark listening stations will also be deployed again from the end of September for six months.

The nets will be re-installed across 51 beaches from Newcastle to Wollongong.

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