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Serious About Safety


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia fishing group makes major investment in safety

** The following news release was issued by the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board on Thursday, February 18th

HALIFAX, NS – A Nova Scotia fishing group announced plans today to make a major investment in the safety of its members. The Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board (GNSFPB) will purchase 1,038 personal floatation devices (PFDs) for 519 fishermen – a purchase valued at over $230,000.

Leonard LeBlanc, GNSFPB secretary/treasurer and a long-time champion for fishing safety in Nova Scotia, has worked closely with a number of stakeholders over the years to bring PFDs and safety awareness to the industry.

“We believe the most important thing is that fishermen return home safely to their families,” said Mr. LeBlanc. “We’re working to change the safety culture in the fishing industry one step and one PFD at a time, and I would like to thank board member Jordan MacDougall for bringing this great idea to the Board of Directors.”

Over the past few years, Mr. LeBlanc was a member of the Safe at Sea Alliance, a group of fishermen, community leaders, industry, safety associations, and government partners that developed Fishing Safety Now, a plan outlining 33 recommendations to improve fishing Safety in Nova Scotia.

Since the plan’s launch in June 2015, the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council and the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia continue to lead its implementation.

“Although this is a separate and independent initiative from Fishing Safety Now, the purchase of these PFDs is the latest example of industry leadership in safety, and of an evolving safety culture in our province,” said Lisa Fitzgerald, executive director, Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council.

Noël Després, chair of the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia, said the fact that fishermen are leading the change when it comes to safety speaks volumes.

“Yesterday we remembered the five men lost three years ago in the tragic sinking of the Miss Ally, marking a somber anniversary in our province,” said Mr. Després. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the industry’s continued safety progress, and we hope for continued education, awareness and enforcement of workplace safety in the fishing industry.”

Fishing safety is a key part of Nova Scotia’s Workplace Safety Strategy, and the process to develop Fishing Safety Now was led by the fishing industry, supported by WCB Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Formed in 1995, the GNSFPB is an umbrella group that represents multi-species accredited fishing organizations. Through demonstrated leadership and inclusive representation, the group has been instrumental in developing historical changes that have positively impacted Gulf Nova Scotia fishermen. The PFDs were purchased using part of the proceeds from the federal shrimp allocation.


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