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Shark protester throws net at Mike Baird

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016 Dan McCulloch

A costumed protester has tried to give Mike Baird a taste of his own medicine, throwing a net at the NSW premier following the tense and noisy launch of new shark nets on the state's north coast.

The man attempted to drape the blue netting over the premier at Ballina on Friday afternoon after Mr Baird watched nets dropped across five beaches as part of a six-month trial.

The man, dressed as a hammerhead shark, was spoken to by police as a group of vocal protesters chanted "no shark nets" around him.

"I just wanted to give the premier an experience of what it is like to be in a net," 58-year-old Dean Jefferys told The Daily Telegraph.

"I didn't touch him."

He won't be pursued for criminal charges.

"Police have spoken to a man at a protest in Ballina this afternoon. No further police action is anticipated," a spokesperson told AAP.

Earlier, opponents of the initiative chanted loudly throughout a media conference with Mr Baird, with the premier at times having to lean forward to hear questions from reporters.

"This ultimately is about trying to do everything you possibly can to protect human life," Mr Baird said.

"If I'm condemned for that, I'm condemned for that. But I think that's my responsibility."

With approval from the Commonwealth, the six-month trial of mesh shark nets at Ballina's Lighthouse, Sharpes and Shelly beaches and Lennox and Evans Head beaches will get underway on Friday.

The legislation was fast-tracked through state parliament following three shark attacks in the past six weeks but locals argue the nets could endanger other marine life such as dolphins.

"We have in past year tried new technologies on a regular basis. We've done everything we possibly can," Mr Baird said.

"But we've seen a continuation of the extraordinary attacks, we have to do the last thing we have in the locker, which is these nets."

Scott Hanson, from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, said the nets were another tool the government was adding to its box to prevent attacks.

"This isn't a choice we are making between choosing ocean-goers and marine life," Mr Hanson told reporters.

"We actually think the utilisation of technology will provide us with the goals of meeting both policies."

The nets would be checked daily and monitoring information made available to the public, he said.

The five new nets take the total deployed along the NSW coastline to 56.

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