by Miles Godfrey
SHARK nets will again be deployed off the NSW north coast this summer after a hugely successful trial that halted a horror run of deadly attacks in the region.
Former premier Mike Baird was forced to install nets between mid-December and May after a huge spike in shark maulings, including the 2015 death of Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara off Ballina.
Mr Baird faced protests by greenie activists as he announced the nets last year, including one who threw a net over him.
Despite the controversy, the policy worked - with zero attacks recorded off the north coast last summer and none since. There were 14 shark attacks at the height of the 2015 north coast crisis, eight last year and just two so far in 2017 in other parts of the state.
The nets, laid off Lighthouse, Sharpes and Shelly beaches at Ballina, Lennox Heads' Seven Mile Beach and Evans Head, also led to a welcome resurgence of the north coast's tourism industry, which took a battering as families felt unsafe to swim or surf there.