Nets do not prevent sharks from entering a particular area. They are, however, intended to catch 'resident sharks' and sharks that move through an area while feeding on bait fish.
The Shark Control Program (SCP) large mesh nets are specifically designed to catch sharks over 2 m in length. The SCP aims to reduce the number of potentially dangerous sharks in particular areas rather than create an impenetrable barrier against shark attack.
Nets are manufactured to Fisheries Queensland specifications and are 186 m long. Most nets have a depth of 6 m and a mesh size of 500 mm.
View a diagram showing how the nets are used (PDF, 2.0MB).
The nets are set adjacent to the shoreline according to the prevailing tides and currents. Their distance from shore is determined by topographical features of the area and sea conditions. Equipment is usually placed far enough offshore to prevent human and shark interaction.
Drumlines catch actively feeding sharks using a shark hook suspended from a large plastic float, which in turn is anchored to the sea bed. Only fresh, natural bait is used to catch the sharks.
View a diagram showing how the drumlines are used (PDF, 1.4MB).
Servicing of equipment
SCP equipment is serviced every second day, weather permitting, by independent contractors who work under Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol supervision. All fishing equipment is removed from the water for maintenance and replaced with fresh equipment at least once every 21 days.
Contractors' duties also include assisting with collaborative research projects associated with the SCP and providing a 24-hour, seven-day service in case of emergency.
The contractors' procedures and performance is reviewed regularly.
Locations of SCP equipment
Maps of equipment locations:
- Cairns (PDF, 909.5KB)
- Townsville and Magnetic Island (PDF, 782.0KB)
- Mackay (PDF, 1.1MB)
- Capricorn Coast (PDF, 805.0KB)
- Tannum Sands (PDF, 627.3KB)
- Bundaberg (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Rainbow Beach (PDF, 722.8KB)
- Sunshine Coast - north (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Sunshine Coast - south (PDF, 1.5MB)
- Sunshine Coast - Bribie Island (PDF, 743.0KB)
- Point Lookout (PDF, 415.3KB)
- Gold Coast - north (PDF, 1.3MB)
- Gold Coast - south (PDF, 1.3MB)
SCP equipment is installed at the following Queensland beaches:
|Cairns||Buchans Point Beach, Clifton Beach, Ellis Beach, Holloways Beach, Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Yorkeys Knob|
|Townsville and Magnetic Island||Alma Bay, Florence Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Kissing Point, Nelly Bay, Pallarenda Beach, Picnic Bay, Radical Bay|
|Mackay||Blacks Beach, Bucasia Beach, Eimeo Beach, Harbour Beach, Lamberts Beach|
|Capricorn Coast||Cooee Bay, Emu Park, Farnborough Beach, Fisherman Beach, Kemp Beach, Lammermoor Beach, Mullambin Beach, Tanby Point, Yeppoon|
|Bundaberg||Bargara, Kelly's Beach, Nielson Park, Oaks Beach|
|Rainbow Beach||Rainbow Beach|
|Sunshine Coast||Alexandra Headland, Bribie Island, Buddina Beach, Caloundra, Castaways Beach, Coolum Beach, Currimundi, Hyatt Regency Resort, Marcus Beach, Marcoola Beach, Maroochydore Beach, Moffat Beach, Mooloolaba Beach, Mudjimba Beach, Noosa, Peregian Beach, Point Cartwright, Sunrise Beach, Sunshine Beach, Surfair Resort, Twin Waters Resort, Wurtulla, Yaroomba Beach|
|North Stradbroke Island||Amity Point, Cylinder Beach, Ocean Beach|
|Gold Coast||Broadbeach, Burleigh Beach, Bilinga Beach, Coolangatta Beach, Currumbin, Elkhorn Avenue, Greenmount Beach, Kirra Beach, Kurrawa Beach, Main Beach, Mermaid Beach, Sheraton Mirage Beach, Miami Beach, North Burleigh Beach, Northcliffe, North Kirra Beach, Narrow Neck, Nobby Beach, Palm Beach, Rainbow Bay, Staghorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise Beach, Tallebudgera Beach, Tugun Beach|
Download SCP gear locations (includes coordinates) (XLS, 209.0KB)
Maritime Safety Queensland issues 'Notices to Mariners' - these are notices which provide marine safety information, including advice of where SCP equipment is located throughout the state. To view the latest SCP notice, visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website.
Occasionally, small numbers of marine animals (other than sharks) are caught in SCP equipment, and during rough weather conditions equipment can break free. If you see an animal caught in SCP equipment, find equipment on the beach or notice equipment has broken free, please contact the SCP hotline on 1800 806 891 (free call within Queensland).