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Liberals calling on Houston to step up with more support for fishers

By Joe Thomson Aug 11, 2023 | 12:35 PM

Lobster boats in Yarmouth Bar on the morning of Dumping Day. (Acadia News Photo)

The Nova Scotia Liberals are calling on the Houston government to provide more support for fishers in Shelburne who lost equipment during the wildfires.

The province recently announced it would provide $2,500 to each fisher who lost equipment, but many have come forward to say that’s not nearly enough to cover the full cost of what they lost.

Dan Fleck is the executive director of Brazil Rock 334 Lobster Association and says that some of the fishers worked as volunteer firefighters only to come home and find their gear had been destroyed. He’s calling on the provincial and federal government to step up to the plate with some serious help, because the $2,500 won’t cut it.

“The term I’ve been using it’s woefully inadequate. It’s just not a substantial amount. It’s a mere pittance, a drop in the bucket. It’s absolutely of no value, I would say, compared to the dollar value of what these people have lost,” said Fleck.

In a statement released today, Liberal leader Zach Churchill called on the provincial government to provide $1 million in immediate financial support to the fishers who lost equipment. He pointed to the economic impact that lobster fishers have on the region and says fishers have waited to long for help.

“After two months of inaction, the provincial government must stop dragging its feet and put real support on the table now so impacted fishers can get gear purchased in time for the start of the fall fishery before it’s too late,” said Churchill.

Lobster fishing season begins in Southwestern Nova Scotia near the end of November. Fleck says fishers start preparing for the season months in advance and need to have their equipment ready as soon as possible I order to have a successful season.

“The lobster season just doesn’t start when the boat sails. No, it’s a good 8, 10, 12 weeks and some people are working on their gear now to prepare it and get everything set so they’re ready to go when the time to sail comes,” said Fleck.

If you want to help out the fishers in Shelburne, the Brazil Rock 334 Lobster Association is holding a ger donation day on August 26th in Ingomar. Their looking for good useable gear to help them get through the upcoming season.


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