PORTLAND Coast Guard has issued a navigational warning about shipping containers floating in the ocean off the Portland coastline after four containers washed up on the beach in the centre of Bridgewater Bay last week.
Portland Coast Guard flotilla commander Stephen Brown said the warning was particularly pertinent with the number of recreational anglers on the water this Easter.
Mr Brown said while the four containers had washed up on a beach, there could be others submerged in the water.
Portland fisherman Bob McPherson said the containers were likely to have been washed off a container ship during recent big seas.
He joked that he had hoped the containers would hold BMW vehicles or cases of bourbon.
However it appeared the containers were refrigerated and were likely to contain meat, Mr McPherson said.
He said details about the containers had been passed on to authorities in an effort to trace the containers’ owners.
Mr Brown said recent strong winds were likely to restrict recreational fishing off Portland to those on charter boats and other larger vessels.
“The forecast is not too comfortable for smaller boats,” Mr Brown said.
He said winds were predicted to ease.
Mr Brown said only about 10 boat trailers were at the Portland boat ramp last Thursday morning but he expected the number of anglers in Portland to increase over the weekend.
News of the catch of a big 84-kilogram southern bluefin tuna from a charter boat last week had caught the interest of many anglers, he said.
While catching a big trophy fish is a big drawcard for visiting anglers, Mr Brown said many were happy with the tuna weighing between 20-25 kilograms that were more commonly being caught.
Speaking from a charter boat in Portland Bay last week, Mr Brown said anglers were also catching plenty of snapper and whiting.