Lobster fishers in southwestern Nova Scotia are reminded to make safety a priority during this year’s fishing season.
The season began on Monday, and is known as Dumping Day in communities along the south and western shores.
“Fishing is a safer profession today than it was a decade ago, but it remains a dangerous and demanding job,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. “I want to thank those who have taken positive steps to improve their own safety and the safety of those aboard their vessels and wish all the fishermen in southwestern Nova Scotia a safe and successful season.”
To stay safe during the season, the government recommends fishers wear a personal flotation device, make them mandatory on their boats and regularly examine them and other safety gear. They should pay close attention to the weather before heading out for the day, assess their boats in advance and stay on the lookout for potential hazards while working.
“The fishing industry has many safety champions who work hard every day to keep people safe at sea,” said Amanda Dedrick, executive director, Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia. “We share the same goal to make sure the men and women who leave the wharfs on Dumping Day make it home safely to their families.”
The association provides safety resources and training throughout the province, including man overboard drills.
This fall, WCB Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education partnered on a media campaign reminding captains and crews about the important role of personal flotation devices. Occupational health and safety officers have also increased their presence at wharfs.
The safety association, along with the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council and numerous fishers, family members, and public sector representatives continue to meet regularly and work together to implement the recommendations outlined in Fishing Safety Now, the fishing safety plan by and for the industry that was launched in 2015.