Ahh, old time newspapers are fascinating things aren't they? Here's a snippet from January 1952 full page article headed SHARK MESHING PROTECTS SURFERS in a Sydney rag called The World's News
Meshing entails the lowering of a
net off a beach, just beyond the
breakers. The nets are 500ft long,
20ft wide and of 22in to 24in mesh,
made of strong rope.
Usually two nets are laid together
to give an actual length meshed of
1000ft. Mostly the nets are put
down at night and picked up next
day. They are not trawled behind
Placing the nets is simple. An
anchor, with drum attached, is
dropped and the net is then played
out as the trawler moves along. But
the picking up is arduous and fraught
The net is located by the glass
bubble attached. The trawler heaves
to and the crew hauls in the 1000ft
of net hand over hand. There is
an atmosphere of tension at this
A surge of a wave and the net
can be around the propeller, with
the boat only a few yards from the
A swell and the net whips over
the side, taking with it any man
not quick enough to jump clear.
Sharks in the net provide a prob-
lem. They are lifted, threshing and
biting, over the side to the rolling,
The trawlers have to be sturdy
craft for the work, the men adven-
Each trawler carries a fisheries'
inspector to record the catch and
each must carry out a certain num
ber of meshings a month, with a
specified number to a beach.
Sharks are scavengers, and move
along the bottom seeking food. The
swirling folds of net set on the bot
tom probably have the appearance
of seaweed to their short-sighted
Once they touch the net they are
lost. Their stubbornness sends them
forward. The net swirls behind their
heads, catches on the dorsal and side
Maddened, the shark begins to
whirl about, slashing with his teeth,
but the more he moves the more the
net enmeshes him, just as a sticky
spider web traps a fly.
Finally, the shark becomes ex-
hausted in this man-made web.
Meshing is carried out by con
tractors. Captain P. R. Stuart Ptv.
Ltd. do the work Sydney and
Mr. N. Gorshenin carries out
meshing at Newcastle.
Each year somewhere between 500
and 1000 sharks are caught, each
of which is capable of killing a man.
Meshing has never been claimed
as an absolute safeguard from at
tack. It is a precaution only.