Whether or not the nets are as effective as the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests states is a matter of debate. In 2011, Christopher Neff, an expert on shark attack policy at the University of Sydney, pointed out that of the 38 shark attacks in New South Wales recorded between 1937 and 2008, 63 percent occurred where there were beach nets. Moreover, "no fatal shark bite incidents when the nets were removed for three years," he wrote, going on to say "in the history of shark nets, this has proven itself to be a story about people and politics rather than shark behaviour."
Shark attacks, though quite rare, should be taken as a serious problem. Neff calls for increased use of signage at beaches instead of lethal options, as well as tracking the seasonal swimming patterns of sharks.