People will be banned from cleaning fish within the Port Fairy port precinct under plans to prevent a repeat of last month's seal attack which left a woman with "nasty" injuries.
The Port of Port Fairy board has passed a resolution calling for fish cleaning tables to be removed from the boat ramp and Martin's Point.
It also wants the council to create a by-law prohibiting the cleaning of fish within the port precinct.
Board chair and Moyne councillor Colin Ryan said the issue was brought to a head when a woman was left with a "nasty wound" after she was bitten on the leg by a seal while walking her dog along the river.
"She was just walking along the jetty and the seal launched out of the water and attacked her," Cr Ryan said.
"The ramifications if she had have been walking with a small child is not worth thinking about."
Cr Ryan said there had been a number of complaints about the seal and port board members had witnessed it chasing people.
"They're predators with sharp teeth," he said.
"Our action is to protect the community. You can't have unsuspecting little kids walking along the jetty and be in danger of being attacked by a wild animal. It's just not on."
He said seals had become dangerous because fish remnants discarded into the water drew them in.
"They swim in and get a free feed instead of having to go and chase it, well why not?" he said.
Cr Ryan said the board - which also includes mayor Mick Wolfe, community members, boat owners and fishermen - had done all it could to combat the problem by erecting signs and installing bins beside the cleaning tables.
You can't have unsuspecting little kids walking along the jetty and be in danger of being attacked by a wild animal. It's just not on.Cr Colin Ryan
However, some "irresponsible fishers" had still thrown the remnants into the river and to the seal.
"It's unfortunate a small number have spoiled it for everyone," Cr Ryan said.
He said under the plan, cleaning fish would be banned in the entire port precinct which stretches to the eastern side of Griffith Street and includes the car parking area.
"Fishers can still go fishing, they just have to make other arrangements for the cleaning of their catch," he said.
Cr Ryan said people would need to clean their fish at sea or at home.
Port Fairy wasn't the first council to consider a ban, he said, with some ports in Tasmania having already prohibited people from cleaning fish near boat ramps.
This issue will come before council on April 23.
Cr Ryan said despite the recommendation of the bard, as a councillor he would still listen to both sides of the argument before making any decision on the issue.
The seal, which had been hanging around Port Fairy for about four months, left the area before officers had a chance to relocate it, Cr Ryan said.
"It must have got wind of what was going to happen, so it left," he said.
Read more: Port Fairy seal moves on
Read more: Seal bite victim thanks community
Read more: Woman attacked by rogue seal
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