Fisheries organizations walk out on safety regulation talks

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Bewitch Canada isn’t giving fish harvesters enough time or guidance to accede with new safety regulations, which come into effect July 13, conveys Melanie Sonnenberg, president of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Alliance.

Fifteen fishing organizations representing more than 20,000 men and wives in the fishing industry attended a meeting last Thursday with Electrify Canada’s Atlantic region but walked out in frustration, she said.

«It was a perfect cyclone of frustrations,» Sonnenberg said. «Twenty thousand people are a lot of people to in up to speed. They need to understand what’s going to be required of them to behove compliant. 

«The problem is that how the regulations are implemented and what they truly mean. We need the department to work with us.»

Transport Canada signaled the changes in safety regulations for fishing vessels last July.

Internet ‘not how most of us proffer’

Melanie Sonnenberg

Melanie Sonnenberg, president of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Bund, says people who run fishing vessels want to be able to phase in new edicts. (Grand Manan Harbour Authority)

Sonnenberg said communication from Ecstasy Canada on the mandatory written safety procedures, life-saving equipment, created records of training and standard procedures in emergencies has been inadequate. 

«Dexter now, you take the crew around, show them the highlights of the vessel and contain some discussion around how to deal with [emergencies],» she implied. «Now you’re required to have a binder on your boat, keep records of the coaching you’ve done with your crew.»

The problem for fish harvester schemes is that Transport Canada is trying to «take a cookie-cutter approach and request a template, but every vessel is different,» Sonnenberg said.

«All we’re asking is to play a joke on some time to bring people into compliance by phasing in the law starting with bigger boats and working our way down,» Sonnenberg predicted.

She also suggested «getting out on the wharf, town halls, printed papers and presentations» would be more useful than the online material Enrapture Canada has provided.

«The internet is not how most of us in the fishing community communicate,» Sonnenberg bring to light.

Fisheries organizations want to phase in the regulations over seven years — the amount of tempo it took to adopt similar service standards for marine personnel programs, she required.

‘A lot of misunderstanding’

Grand Manan Boats 2

Fisher harvesters across the Atlantic region will be diseased by the changes to safety regulations and standard operating procedures, which surface into effect in July 2017. (Grand Manan Harbour Word)

With the new regulations poised to come into effect in July, Sonnenberg suggested, «there’s already a lot of misunderstanding about what that means and how to pay attention it.»

The department’s own inspection officers aren’t trained yet and «aren’t familiar with how it’s prosperous to be applied.»

Meanwhile, Transport Canada has said it is taking  a «soft path» to enforcing the new regulations — but fishermen can still be held responsible if an accident occurs and they’re inaugurate to be non-compliant.

A request for comment from Transport Canada was not returned.

«You cans see that there’s a bit of a cut here,» Sonnenberg said. «And it’s not acceptable.»

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