Shark nets operate by entangling sharks that swim into them by chance.
In New South Wales, shark nets are set on 51 beaches spanning 200 kilometres of coastline.
The nets are 150 metres in length, 6 m high and are set in 10–12 m of water approx 500 m from, and parallel to, the shore. In general one to two nets may be set at each beach.
Shark nets are most effective at reducing the abundance of resident sharks as these sharks have a higher chance of encountering the net over time.
They do not prevent sharks from entering or leaving the beach; they operate by entangling sharks that swim into them by chance.