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New safety regulations for Canadian fishing vessel come into effect

As lobster traps are unloaded onto the wharf from a boat dockside, another fishing vessel brings in a load of traps and gear prior to the end of the LFA 34 lobster season in Pinkney's Point, Yarmouth County.
As lobster traps are unloaded onto the wharf from a boat dockside, another fishing vessel brings in a load of traps and gear prior to the end of the LFA 34 lobster season in Pinkney's Point, Yarmouth County.

OTTAWA - New regulations designed to improve safety in the commercial fishing industry in Canada came into force today.

The Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations replace the Small Fishing Vessel Inspection Regulations.

They set out new requirements for safety equipment, written safety procedures and vessel stability for small commercial fishing vessels operating in the country.

The new regulations are the result of extensive consultation with stakeholders, including fishing vessel owners, provincial and territorial safety groups, and representatives of fishing safety associations across the country, a news release from Transport Canada stated.

"Despite the combined efforts of governments and industry, the number of accidents on commercial fishing vessels remains unacceptably high,” Transport Minister Marc Garneau said.

“The new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations will enhance safety by helping to address the primary causes of fatalities on fishing vessels."

The new regulations, which can be found here, apply to Canadian fishing vessels that are not more than 24.4 metres in length and not more than 150 gross tonnage. 

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