Hunting down a solution for anglers

SHARKS sighted at Jetty Beach this week have renewed calls for upgraded fish cleaning facilities to be installed for the region's anglers.

Jetty Beach was closed on Monday after bronze whaler, thresher and grey nurse sharks were spotted in the shallow waters by lifeguards.

DPI fisheries manager Mel Bradbury said an increase of activity in the harbour - including the trawling of sea mullet - is believed to have attracted the sharks closer to shore.

It has also been speculated that anglers disposing of fish frames near the jetty could have enticed the predators into the harbour.

Fish cleaning facilities were previously available at the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club, but since the club's closure in April, anglers are now relying on a narrow two-metre table near the boat ramp.

Ms Bradbury said plans were under way to build a new fish cleaning table to coincide with upgrade works at Coffs Harbour's boat ramp.

Although a timeframe has yet to be confirmed, Ms Bradbury said Coffs Harbour City Council had applied to DPI for a $20,000 grant to fund the facility.

But Coffs Harbour fisherman Rob Gemmell has called for new facilities to be installed sooner rather than later.

"There are 40 to 50 boats using one cleaning table and a couple of bins - so it's not going to take long for those (bins) to fill up," he said.

"Scraps ending up in the water are only going to attract the bigger fish."

Ms Bradbury said anglers should make use of the bins that have been provided.

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