Mariner’s Day Act to Commemorate Nova Scotia Fishermen

April 29, 2013

The work and sacrifices of Nova Scotians who make a living at sea will be commemorated annually as the province sets aside a special day to honour them.

Each year, the second Sunday in August will be known as Mariner’s Day in Nova Scotia.

While speaking at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau announced today, April 29, that he is introducing legislation to create the Mariner’s Day Act.

“The recent tragic loss of five young men aboard the Miss Ally serves as a reminder of the dangers fishers face while supporting their families and communities,” said Mr. Belliveau.

“Mariner’s Day will pay tribute to all men and women who contributed so much to the economic prosperity of this province and who lost their lives in the process. It will give Nova Scotians, from Yarmouth to Cape North, a chance to say thank you to fishers who currently make their living on the water.”

Mariner’s Day will also help promote safety practices within the fishing industry, said Mr. Belliveau.

“There is no denying the danger associated with fishing for a living, but we can enhance awareness of safety within the fishing industry. Families can play a big role in encouraging their loved ones to take greater precautions while at sea, ensuring that a crew will return home without suffering an injury or something worse.”

The province is working with agencies and associations to promote safety within the fishing industry and to help prevent future fatalities. 

“Working in the northern Atlantic, especially during the winter months, comes with inherent risks,” said Stewart Franck, executive director of the Fisheries Safety Association. “I hope Mariner’s Day will prompt change and is taken by the fishing industry as a call to action to implement improvements to prevent all drowning and loss at sea.”  

Phoebe Malone of Yarmouth County started a petition in memory of the five young men aboard the Miss Ally, which went down in February. 

“It seems fitting to me that Nova Scotia should have an official day to honour the mariners already lost and to show support for the fishermen and women who earn their living on the sea, as well as their families. All fishermen and mariners across Nova Scotia deserve this.”