Dear Beagle Editor, Your readers who enjoy recreational fishing with their dogs might be interested in a letter we have sent to Council for their consideration. I reads as follows.
Dear Council Officer.
On behalf of all local and visiting recreational fishers to the Eurobodalla Shire the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFA) provides the following comments. A reply would be appreciated.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide community comment on the proposed changes to dog access to the Eurobodalla beaches. It is understood that from time to time such reviews are required.
As Council is well aware, recreational fishing is a big social, economic and healthy activity. The health benefits associated in linking walking and fishing the local beaches has significant health benefit and this activity should not be discouraged. It is also acknowledged appropriate behaviour is expected from dog owners. RFA believes this is the case, so it should not be necessary to introduce restrictions which could be heavenly refuted by the community when further education could have well solved any minor issues or concerns.
Our older community particularly those who are receiving doctors’ advice to, “do more walking” would be considerable – but often one needs to be motivated. To combine walking ones dog while incorporating beach fishing is a great win-win outcome for many in the community!!
As you are aware tourists – many are fishers makes a significant contribution to the Shire and they don’t need to be discouraged because of dog restrictions. Families who visit the Shire often travel with their pet companion dog. It is possible their favourite/preferred location could be impacted if the closest beach to their accommodation does not allow dog access! Has this been considered or researched?
The Australian Veterinary Association says that Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and estimates that 3.6 million Australian households own a dog. These are households in our own community, and they are also the households of enormous numbers of potential tourists to our area. Reasonable dog regulations on our beaches will protect not only our own access but will be an amenity that could attract thousands of visitors.
Generally speaking the RFA is concerned about limiting fishing access and is seeking an assurance from Council that access to all boat ramps (i.e. Tuross Head town ramp as an example) and existing beaches where fishing occurs with dogs will not change from the current rules in place please.
Max Castle Tuross Head