Sea Change – The Struggle for Safety in Fishing, Canada’s Deadliest Industry

Despite safety gains in many other industries, fishing continues to have the highest fatality rate of any employment sector in Canada. Even as the long lists of the dead continue to grow, regulators and policy-makers are challenged by the grim fatalism that pervades a world in which generations of fishermen have gone out into the sea and, all too often, not come home. In the tidy port town of Lunenburg, N.S., near the ocean’s edge, a touching memorial lists the fishermen who have lost their lives at sea since 1890. “Dedicated to the memory of those who have gone down to the sea in ships,” says the inscription on a slab of black granite, and to those who “continue to occupy their business in the great waters.” click here to read the story 12:29

‘Playing with fire’: Fishing’s cruel seas and even crueler economics

On Feb. 12, 2013, an unseasonably warm evening, five young fishermen departed the West Head wharf on Cape Sable Island, N.S. aboard the Miss Ally, a 12-metre Cape Islander. The men, spanning in age from 21 to 33 — three of them fathers of young children—were headed out in pursuit of halibut, a valuable winter catch. On deck that night were Billy Jack Hatfield, a recently-engaged 33-year-old; Cole Nickerson, 28, a burly and strong former junior hockey player; Joel Hopkins, a 27-year-old father of two who absolutely loved the thrill of fishing; and Tyson Townsend, 25, a gifted athlete with a seven-month-old daughter. At the wheel, piloting the boat into darkness, was Katlin Nickerson, Miss Ally’s 21-year-old captain and owner. click here to read the story 13:13

Fishing Industry sees workers compensation rates hit 20-year low thanks to safety campaigns

Stuart MacLean says it was a particularly dark event that helped spark a culture change when it comes to safety in the fishing industry: the sinking of the Miss Ally. Five young men from southwest Nova Scotia were lost at sea when their fishing boat was hammered by a raging storm in 2013. The incident gripped fishing villages everywhere, and MacLean, CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, believes it had a dramatic effect on the way fishermen approach safety today. “What’s happened in that sector is people have moved from knowing about it to caring about it,” he said. “And I think what people said is, ‘It’s not OK to keep losing people at sea.'” click here to read the story 18:12

The Courageous Crew of Miss Ally-Lost at Sea Fundraising Auction raises over $86,000 for the family’s of the men.

fishing vessel miss allyThe Courageous Crew of Miss Ally-Lost at Sea Fundraising Auction has raised more than $86,000 for the families of the lost fishermen. The fundraising effort, which began shortly after the February tragedy that saw five Shelburne County fishermen lose their lives, received huge support locally and from around the world said organizers. From its humble social media beginnings, the auction eventually saw thousands of items and services donated. continued

Safety board wraps up Miss Ally probe

HALIFAX – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it could find no safety deficiencies after investigating the capsizing last month of a Nova Scotia fishing boat that claimed five lives. continue