Outdated shark net technology that's supposed to keep swimmers safe in the ocean should be scrapped immediately, protesters say. Shark nets were returned to 51 beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong on September 1 for the annual eight-month Shark Meshing Program (SMP) by the NSW DPI. The death toll of non-target animals killed in the nets and the ongoing risk to the environment is far too high, NSW Greens' Cate Faehrmann said. The MP was behind the protest at Manly Beach on Thursday morning, which drew the support of environmental groups and locals. "This is what somebody thought up 100 years ago," she said. "We've got things called smart boys, we've got drones, we've got community observer programs, we've got things people can wear to deter sharks, we've got education programs." Shark nets were introduced in 1937 in NSW and target animals include white, bull and tiger sharks. But, DPI data reveals of the 376 animal left entangled in the nets during 2021-22, 325 (86 per cent) were not-target animals such as dolphins, whales, turtles and stingrays. Of the non-target animals, 86 were threatened or protected species, including green turtles, leatherback turtles, grey nurse sharks, a humpback whale and a dolphin. While some animals were released alive, 218 non-target animals died, including 47 threatened/protected species. Humane Society International head of programs Evan Quartermain said shark nets are "nothing but a death trap" for marine life and do not prevent attacks on humans. IN OTHER NEWS "Shark bites do happen at netted beaches, but they are rarely fatal because of the presence of lifesavers and first responders and their courage and expertise," he said. "It is them being there, and not the nets in the water, that saves lives." Sea Shepherd threatened and endangered species campaigner Lauren Sandeman said urged people to back the calls to dump shark nets. "We would not accept safety standards that are nearly 100 years old in any other facet of our lives so why are our beaches given that leeway," she said. The day before the shark nets were put up for the season, a 14-year-old boy was attacked by a shark at Avoca Beach in the Central Coast. He was bitten on the hand by a white shark and rushed to hospital where he received stitches in one hand. ACM has contacted the DPI for comment.