Nova Scotia

PFD safety campaign targets fishermen

Fishermen in Nova Scotia are being urged to wear PFDs when they're out working on the water.

8 fishing-related deaths so far this year in Nova Scotia

The campaign is called, Who do you wear your PFD for? (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Fishermen in Nova Scotia are being urged to wear personal flotation devices when they're out working on the water.

The province, Workers' Compensation Board and Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council launched a safety campaign Saturday at the Wedgeport tuna tournament.

Fishermen are asked to sign a pledge stating "who I wear my PFD for."

"Personal flotation devices increase your chances of rescue and survival. If you don't wear a PFD for you, wear it for your family," Sterling Belliveau, minister of fisheries and aquaculture, said in a news release.

There have been eight fishing-related deaths in the province so far this year. This includes the five fishermen lost when their boat, Miss Ally, went down in February.

Stewart Franck, executive director of the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia, said he believes the campaign will make a difference.

Some are already taking the message to heart, he said.

"We have observations at the start of fishing season that more and more people are wearing their PFDs. We're hearing anecdotal evidence and testimonies from fishermen that say, 'Yeah, I make it a practice that myself and my crew all wear PFDs all the time.'"

Franck said usually there are five or six deaths a year.