A petition to stop a major angling venue being totally shut has generated nearly 2,000 names.
By early this afternoon (Wednesday) exactly 2,301 people contributed to the call for Dover Harbour Board to re-open the town’s Admiralty Pier to the sport.
The change.org online petition, with an initial 2,000-name target, was set up eight days ago by angler Matthew Williams.
He wrote: “This pier has been used by fishermen, young and old for a very long time.
“Fishing is not only a pastime but a way to keep youngsters out of trouble and the older generation a place to relax and enjoy the fishing they have done for many many years.
“Please would you support something that is good for Dover and its people, so they can have a place to go and take up a sport/hobby that is not causing trouble in the streets, and that does not involve sitting on a couch with games console?
” The fresh air is good for people’s health and getting out of the house is good for mental health, especially in these difficult times.
“Not only is this one of the best fishing venues in the UK, it has a place in history that sits close to the hearts of local people. “
Dover Sea Angling Association also raised concerns, on Facebook.
A post from it said: “DSAA have been running fishing events from Dover piers for more than 100 years and have in recent years been unable to stop DHB chip away at angling in Dover.
“The Admiralty Pier is one of the best known angling venues in the country and has had thousands of anglers using it every year for over a century.
“As news of this huge loss to the community of Dover and the wider area has spread there has been a massive response.
“It’s very clear that the permanent closure of these venues will have a terrible impact on a lot of people and will result in businesses closing and jobs being lost.”
Local politicians have also take up the cause.
Dover MP Natalie Elphicke said she understood this was done because security concerns at the Cruise Terminal.
But the Conservative MP this week said:“Following urgent conversations with Dover Harbour Board, I am pleased that they have agreed to review the situation on Admiralty Pier and have further discussions with local anglers.
“This is a much loved fishing spot enjoyed through generations and decades of Dovorians. I very much hope that a sensible approach to balance security concerns and local access to fish can be reached so that local fishing can resume.”
Charlotte Zosseder, Dover District councillor and Labour candidate in next week’s county election, said: “The Admiralty Pier is one of the UK’s best fishing venues and has been used by fishermen from Dover and further afield for a very long time.
“It is a healthy pastime for all generations and helps form community bonds. Fishing is an outdoor activity and helps with mental and physical health. These are all things that we need to be promoting in Dover.”
A spokesman for Dover Harbour Board said: “The Port faces a number of significant challenges regarding continued Covid safety, financial requirements and the security of its operational areas in the western part of its estate.
“It has been considering the measures, costs and impacts associated with the available options, including on fishing.
” The Admiralty Pier was originally closed due to the need for extensive repairs and, subsequently, Covid stopped all such activity on the port estate.
” The Port remains in dialogue with the local sea angling community in respect of the above challenges.”
The petition can be viewed here.
Read more: All the latest news from Dover