Fishing safety campaign considered for P.E.I.

The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I.is looking into whether or not a safety campaign for fishermen in Nova Scotia could work on the Island.

Personal flotation devices not required on P.E.I., says PEIFA

PFDs must be on board P.E.I. fishing boats. (CBC News)

The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I.is looking into whether or not a safety campaign for fishermen in Nova Scotia could work on the Island.

One fisherman at a time, one boat at a time, one wharf at a time.- Amanda Dedrick

The Nova Scotia program Fishing Safety Now is a partnership between the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia and the province that encourages the use of PFDs in the fishing industry.

Occupational health safety officers visit wharves and fishing boats, reminding fishermen that under provincial law, they're required to wear a PFD when at sea.

"We've definitely seen an improvement here on the ground level," said Amanda Dedrick, executive director of the Fishing Safety Association of Nova Scotia.

"Our motto is one fisherman at a time, one boat at a time, one wharf at a time — and we've seen more visibility of PFDs."

P.E.I. legislation different

A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Department of Labour said so far the program has been a success. The department reports 99.4 per cent of fishermen, crews and the buyers on the wharves were following regulations in 2017.

On P.E.I. employers are required to make sure PFDs are on board and that they're worn in situations where there is a risk of drowning.

If they caught not being in compliance, a safety officer will educate the employer and issue a warning. It would be up to the Crown to determine if a fine should be issued.

The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association says PFDs are not mandatory on P.E.I. and it is monitoring the Nova Scotia program.