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Port Otago confirmed last night it planned to close the X/Y wharf and the Leith wharf, both near Fryatt St, to the public.
Future access to the T/U wharf, in the same area, was being reviewed.
Port Otago commercial general manager Peter Brown said it was not appropriate to have fishing on the X/Y and Leith wharves.
The issue was public safety.
''Those wharves are used sometimes seven days a week. There's activity on those wharves.''
Members of the public moving among trucks unloading and staff working ''just isn't acceptable''.
Mr Brown did not know last night when they would be closed, but at the time of the salmon fishing competition, usually held in February or March, both wharves would be closed.
The future of the T/U wharf was being reviewed, and if it was open to the public in future it would only be for foot traffic, and that would depend on business activity at the wharf and adjacent stores.
Wharves at the Steamer Basin were also not safe to use, apart from the area at the city end.
Asked why the decision had been made now, Mr Brown said it was ''simply a review of safety and the risk we believe exists''.
Otago Salmon Anglers president Colin Williams did not want to talk about the issue yesterday before discussing it with members.
But the association left a notice by the wharves that said the competition had been cancelled ''due to Port Otago rescinding access to all their wharves''.
The notice said it would be unfair to land-based competitors ''that many of the prime fishing spots would be closed'' putting undue pressure on the remaining areas available.
In lieu of the competition, the association would put up a cash prize for the heaviest salmon caught and weighed before March 31.
Fisherman Blair Martinac said on social media, a lot of people looked forward to the event which was ''no longer taking place due to Port Otago''.
He said fishing was an activity people needed in their lives.