Safety Top of Mind as Lobster Season Starts in Southwestern Nova Scotia (Nov. 26/21)



Lobster fishing crews in southwestern Nova Scotia are reminded to make safety a priority and follow rules and guidelines as they begin their fishing season.

Dumping Day, traditionally the last Monday in November, marks the official start of the fishing season in lobster fishing areas 33 and 34 along the southern and western shores of the province.

“Safety must be top of mind for the hundreds of fishers who set out on the water on Dumping Day to set their traps,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “While very important for Nova Scotia’s economy, lobster fishing is dangerous work. A successful season also means every crew comes home safely at the end of their workday. I strongly urge all fishers to take the time and necessary steps to keep themselves safe, to be sure they get home to their loved ones.”

Before heading out every morning, it is important for crews to:

  • monitor the weather
  • assess their boats
  • examine their safety gear and check on others on board
  • stay on the lookout for potential working hazards
  • wear their personal floatation devices
  • stay prepared for emergencies.


“Fishing is difficult and sometimes dangerous work. I urge everyone – captains and crews – to take a moment to think about safety on board the boat. Locate your safety gear, run through your safety drills and be ready for the unexpected. Do it for yourself, your crewmates and your family. We want everyone to return home safely.”
     - Steve Craig, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture 

“I’m proud of the work the fishing industry has put in over the last six years. We've seen a shift of not just knowing about safety but caring about it with more captains taking steps to improve safety on their vessels, attend wharf-side safety demonstrations, and focus on safety training for their crew. While fishing remains a dangerous job, these are all positive signs of a changing safety culture.”
      - Stuart MacLean, CEO, WCB Nova Scotia 

”Ensuring that everyone heading out on the water this season remains healthy and safe is our top priority. Fish Safe NS strongly encourages all fish harvesters and those who work near the water to always wear their PFD so you can come home safely at the end of each day. Through our combined efforts the fishing industry has made incredible strides towards a stronger safety culture, and with that, we ask that all fishing vessel owners ensure their safety equipment is inspected and crews are trained on how to use it. We wish all captains and crews in LFA 33 and 34 a very safe season.”
      - Matthew Duffy, Executive Director, Fish Safe NS 

Quick Facts:

  • occupational health and safety laws require fishing crews to wear a life jacket or other personal floatation device (PFD)
  • since 2012, Fish Safe NS and its partners have completed 225 man-overboard drills across the province
  • this fall, Labour, Skills and Immigration staff attended 51 of 72 Safety Dock Talks hosted in southwestern Nova Scotia by occupational health and safety officers and Fish Safe NS
  • Labour, Skills and Immigration, WCB Nova Scotia, Fish Safe NS and the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council partnered to deliver a fishing safety awareness campaign to remind captains, crew and families of the importance of wearing a PFD while on or near the water
Additional Resources:
  • Fishers can register their Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon to themselves and their vessel owner by calling 1-877-406-7671 or emailing
  • Fish Safe NS:




Media Contact: Khalehla Perrault
                         Labour, Skills and Immigration
                         Cell: 902-717-3193