Officials ask fishing crews to get home safe
The government of Nova Scotia is reminding all fishing crews to make safety a priority as another lobster season begins.
The province reminded fishers to monitor the weather, assess their boats, examine their safety gear, prepare for emergencies and wear their personal floatation devices before they head out for the day. Dumping day — or the start of the season — officially took place on Monday at Lobster Fishing Areas 33 and 34, along the south and western shores of the province.
“The fishing industry brings great value to our province as one of our largest exports, but it remains a dangerous profession,” said Labi Kousoulis, minister of labour and advanced education. “I want to thank all the fishing crews for their efforts. As safety is top priority, I ask them to take the necessary precautions to get home safe.”
Since 2012, the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia (FSANS) has completed 190 man overboard drills across the province to train fishers on safety. The WCB Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (DLAE) have also been sharing promotional materials through social media and print to help remind captains and crews about the importance of personal floatation devices.
“It is important to wear personal floatation devices, check all vessel safety equipment to ensure it is inspected and accessible, to try on immersion suits and familiarize all crew members with the vessel and its equipment,” said Amanda Dedrick, executive director at FSANS.
In recent years, many Nova Scotia fishers have lost their lives due to drowning — a sombre reminder of the dangers of the industry, said Stuart MacLean, CEO of WCB Nova Scotia.
Kasey DeMings, a fisherman in the province, said crews should only do something if it can be done safely.
“Safety is everything. It’s important that we get our crews home safe and wearing our personal flotation devices is one of the ways to do that,” DeMings said. “Yes, we want to catch lobsters and make money, but what good is making money if you don't come home.”