The news release below was issued by Nova Scotia’s Department of Labour and Advanced Education on November 30, 2020
Fishing crews are reminded to take necessary precautions, remain diligent and follow safety rules and guidelines as the commercial lobster fishing season starts today, Nov. 30, in Lobster Fishing Area 33 along the south shore of Nova Scotia.
Last year Nova Scotia exported $2.3 billion in seafood products to 80 countries, with lobster being the highest value export. Lobster fishing is critical to the economy and this year, it’s expected there will be approximately 1,600 boats and 6,400 crew members on the water for the start of lobster fishing season. However, it is a hazardous profession and taking the necessary safety precautions is crucial to making sure everyone gets home safe. In addition this year, COVID-19 remains a health and safety concern, adding extra protocols on and off the water.
“Fishing can be a dangerous profession and safety always needs to remain the top priority,” said Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Lena Metlege Diab. “Throughout the year there are many efforts made to educate crews about safety requirements and regulations ensuring crews are equipped with the gear and knowledge they need to stay safe. Fishing is a vital part of our province’s economy and I am grateful to the crews for all their hard work. I wish them all a safe and successful season.”
Weather conditions should be assessed and safety checks performed daily. Crews are encouraged to have an emergency plan in place and inspect all equipment including personal flotation devices, before setting out on the water.
“Years of education and training in fishing have made a dangerous industry safer. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all having to take extra precautions to make our workplaces safer. So, as another lobster season begins, I encourage all crews to ensure they are doing everything they can to make safety a priority. Only do something if you can do it safely.”
– Stuart MacLean, CEO, Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia
- occupational health and safety laws require fishing crews to wear a life jacket or other personal floatation device
- this year the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia and its partners have completed 24 Man Overboard Drills and 215 have been completed since 2012
- this fall 72 wharf visits were completed in southwestern Nova Scotia by occupational health and safety officers and the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia
- register your Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) to you and your vessel owner by calling 1-877-406-7671 or emailing CBR@sarnet.dnd.ca
Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia | Fisheries Sector Council | Nova Scotia COVID-19 workplace guidance | Workers’ Compensation Board COVID-19 workplace safety posters | Onboard checklist| Are You READY Program