Fisherman from Tignish joins Marine Industries Hall of Fame

Dennis Gaudet has been working the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence for more than 50 years, and now he's being recognized for his life's efforts.

Induction is an honour beyond his 'wildest dreams'

Dennis Gaudet, centre, is honoured as captain of the year in Tignish last year. Presenting the award is businessman Warren Ellis and Katie Shea, Miss Teen Tignish. Gaudet will now be inducted into the Marine Industries Hall of Fame. (Submitted by Ruby Arsenault)

Dennis Gaudet has been working the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence for more than 50 years, and now he's being recognized for his life's efforts.

The Tignish, P.E.I., fisherman is being inducted into the Atlantic Canada Marine Industries Hall of Fame.

Gaudet called the induction an honour beyond his "wildest dreams," and said he loves fishing just as much now as he did when he started back in 1966.

"It's just being in the outdoors, out on the water," Gaudet said from his home in Tignish.

"I worked in Ontario for six months and it wasn't my cup of tea. I had to come home to fish. I was just like a lost puppy in Ontario." 

Always willing to lend a hand

The ceremony gets underway Friday in Moncton. It's part of the Fish Canada trade show, the largest marine show in the region. 

Ruby Arsenault is a founding member of the Tignish Fishers' Awards Banquet committee. Her committee nominated Gaudet.

Dennis Gaudet and Tignish Recreation Director Tina Richard stand in front of a memorial lobster trap tree in front of St. Simon and St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Tignish. This year's tree was in memory of Gaudet's brother, Laurie, a fellow fishermen, who died in a fishing mishap in 1996.

Arsenault said Gaudet is known throughout the community as somebody who is willing to lend a helping hand, especially to new fishermen. 

"One quote comes to mind when you think of Dennis, most people will say he is a gentleman both on land and sea," said Arsenault. "He's a seasoned fisher. He is a leader, which means you know he's not afraid to speak out or ask questions about anything that concerns the industry."

This is the second time in his career that Gaudet has been recognized for his craft.

Last year, Gaudet's peers at Tignish harbour nominated him as captain of the year. 

'It was hard on the family'

Gaudet said he knows all too well that his love of the sea comes with a risk.

His own boat capsized after being struck by another in 1974. The weather was calm at the time and he and his fellow fishermen were able to swim to shore.

His brother Laurie wasn't so lucky. He died after his boat swamped in rough seas in 1996.

It's an event that is still fresh in Gaudet's mind. 

"It was hard on the family, hard on the community."

'That just brought back old memories'

In September 2018, Gaudet suffered the loss of two of his close friends. Glen DesRoches and Moe Getson died when their boat capsized in rough seas.

Glen DesRoches, left, and Moe Getson drowned after their boat the Kyla Anne capsized in September 2018. (Submitted by DesRoches family and Isabelle Getson)

"That just brought back old memories," he said. "I knew them pretty good, I knew Glen pretty good."

In addition to Gaudet, Rudy LeBreton of Neguac, N.B., is being inducted as processor of the year. Laurence Cook of Grand Manan, N.B., is being inducted as industry builder of the year.

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About the Author

Wayne Thibodeau

Prince Edward Island

Wayne Thibodeau is a reporter/editor with CBC Prince Edward Island. He has worked as a reporter, editor, photographer and video journalist in print, digital and TV for more than 20 years. He can be reached at


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