TOURIST chiefs in Greystones are worried that the "stench" of rotting fish would drive away wealthy yacht owners if commercial fishing was allowed in the Co Wicklow town.
Some in the seaside community would welcome the development of commercial fishing in the redeveloped harbour, which is funded by hefty mooring fees.
But local Fine Gael councillor Derek Mitchell said the presence of a fishing fleet would spell disaster for tourism as the smell of discarded fish would result in foreign yacht owners abandoning the town.
"Greystones has a rapidly-developing tourist trade with yachts coming from elsewhere, particularly North Wales. They are very impressed with the town and spend heavily in pubs and restaurants," he said.
"There are also over 100 Greystones people who pay substantial money to moor their boats. This money pays for the maintenance and staffing of the harbour. Neither of these groups will remain if they have the mess of a fishing port."
Mr Mitchell also pointed to the harbours in nearby Wicklow town and thriving Kinsale in Co Cork as examples of what he sees are the problems that result from commercial fishing.
"We must avoid the stench that comes from fishing boats. Greystones harbour is small and because it does not have a river running through it, so it will get easily polluted by washing the boats and fish," he said.