HALIFAX – The head of the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia says despite the high number of deaths on fishing vessels last year, a shift in safety culture is emerging.
Leonard LeBlanc says safety on any fishing vessel is paramount in light of 17 deaths last year.
The Transportation Safety Board says deaths during the first 10 months of 2018 constituted a record high.
LeBlanc, a former fisherman, says while these figures are noteworthy, overall the trend in the industry has been downwards in recent decades.
He says increasing numbers of fishermen now accept they must wear personal flotation devices when on the water.
In addition, newer vests fit more tightly, inflate on impact with the water and contain an embedded GPS tracking system.
Statistics from the Transportation Safety Board indicate that in almost half of Canadian fishing fatalities, no distress signal was ever sent.