Members of a Crowdy Head Community Group (CHCG) have come together to voice their opposition to the six fish cleaning tables MidCoast Council has proposed to install in the Crowdy Head boat harbour.
The group includes a fishing charter operator, fishing club members, surf lifesaving club members and residents who are instead seeking a shark reduction awareness campaign, urging fishermen to take their fish guts home.
"We would like a campaign to raise awareness about taking fish guts home," CHCG spokesperson Darrell Rigby said.
The group fears offal that is left in the water at the site of the tables will attract sharks.
"Crowdy Bay is an incredibly popular swimming, surfing, diving, kayaking, SUPing and recreational fishing area and is frequented by thousands of people, including locals and holiday makers, each year.
"A shark spotting chopper is in action over the busy months and we can't see how releasing tonnes of fish guts that don't need to be expelled into local waters will help that situation," he said.
"The risk is real with two Great Whites spotted in the vicinity in past months.
"More Australians have been killed in unprovoked shark attacks this year than in any since 1934.
"It would be irresponsible to build infrastructure that unnecessarily adds to the risk," Mr Rigby said.
"At least 80 recreational fishing boats use the Crowdy Harbour car park per week. If each boat catches only three fish, that's enough offal to fill a spa bath.
"It's not just the offal, but also the constant flow of water washing scent into the ocean.
"This issue of fish waste has been successfully managed for years by people taking their fish home or to a number of tables provided in Harrington township.
"CHCG understands council received funds for marine use in the local area in September 2019.
"We have since been seeking information about the proposed use to no effect.
"Genuine consultation could identify much needed improvements that would benefit the whole community," he said.
Did you know the Manning River Times is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news HERE.