Province to declare day for lost fishermen

Greg Bennett
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The Miss Ally tragedy was noted in Tuesday's Speech from the Throne as the government announced its intention to declare a day to remember lost fishermen and women.

In its Speech from the Throne, the Dexter government announced its intention to declare a day dedicated to remembering all Nova Scotia fishermen and women lost at sea.

The speech, made on Tuesday afternoon by Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant opened the spring sitting of the Legislature.

In making the announcement, the Lt. Governor noted the recent loss of the five local fishermen on the Miss Ally.

“Communities like Woods Harbour know that the ocean provides bountiful abundance but can exact a terrible toll. Just 40 days have passed since five young fishers -- Katlin Nickerson, Billy Jack Hatfield, Joel Hopkins, Steven Cole Nickerson and Tyson Townsend -- were lost when the Miss Ally capsized in the stormy sea. Those young men sought only to make a living and support their families,” he said.

In the wake of the tragedy, former Shelburne County resident Phoebe Malone was one of those who had been pushing for the province to set aside a day to honor the men and women who work on the sea.

She circulated a petition and set up a Facebook page called Fishermen’s Day in Nova Scotia. The page received thousands of likes on Facebook. 


Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Woods Harbour, Shelburne County

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Recent comments

  • Deanna Miller
    March 28, 2013 - 15:43

    That is awesome news :)

    March 26, 2013 - 23:26

    I think it is a wonderful gesture to fisherpeople and their families,shame it's such along time coming.But still appreciated by all Thank You to all who voiced their opinions to make this happen FINALLY.

  • Michelle Moore
    March 26, 2013 - 21:14

    I think this is a wonderful idea to honor & to remember fishermen whose live's were lost earning a living as fisher's or fisherman ! "BUT" This day should be for all fisherman ,including the diver's who have lost their lives retrieving urchins. This day should include them aswell .They are fishermen too ,And weather a fishermen's body was found or not or weather they fish directly from a boat or not ,( A diver is dropped from their fishing vessle into the ocean )" .This day need's to include them, I lost my Brother Steve at the age of 40 in 2003 , He was an urchin diver & was lost at sea for 3 day's before search & rescue found him . This day should honor him & other urchin diver's who have lost their live's earning a living too !

  • Joyce M Zinck
    March 26, 2013 - 20:58

    I lost my Brother in law, Jerry L Zinck ,who was washed overboard and was never found.

  • April Whynot
    March 26, 2013 - 18:13

    I think it should be for all fisherman....... lost and still here. The retiered ones and the ones that still put their life a risk just to bring us the delisious harvests from the sea. Here's to ALL FISHERMAN/WOMEN !

  • Cathy Fenton
    March 26, 2013 - 16:15

    I lost my son and his crew 3 years ago on the RLJ off Digby N.S. and I think all fishermen should be this way. they were never found either.

  • Gayle Owen
    March 26, 2013 - 16:15

    To Mr. Mader. I don't know for sure if there has been a woman lost to the sea doesn't mean it can't happen. There are quite a few fishers that are women.

    • amy
      March 26, 2013 - 20:19

      my mother worked as a first mate on my fathers boat for years and did lose a friend another fishing women who sank with the boat she worked on...

    • MGB
      March 26, 2013 - 20:27

      Yes Gayle; there have been women lost. A couple of years back on the Eastern Shore we lost a father and daughter lobster team. As a woman myself who works aboard year round I understand the risk involved with the job I have chosen and appreciate everyone's support. You are correct about there being many women in the fishing industry, many more than people realize.

    March 26, 2013 - 16:04

    Am very pleased to hear that there will be a day to honor all who have been lost at sea

  • clyde v bartlett
    March 26, 2013 - 15:49

    i think its a respectiful thing to do to honer the fishers who go to sea &put there lives on theline to make aliving for there love ones i was a fisher for 40 years clyde v bartlett

  • Rick Mader
    March 26, 2013 - 15:49

    Can someone reveal to me when was there a woman lost at sea...curious ??

    • Rod Barnaby
      March 26, 2013 - 20:25


    March 26, 2013 - 15:47

    Good news to hear, I think that would be really nice for all the families.

  • Cyril Richards
    March 26, 2013 - 15:34

    I appreciate that the NDP's have done something good for the province. I myself, spent years at sea in the Navy as well as on commercial ships. Living on the sea gets in your blood and those that perish on the sea deserve the honour that is now bestowed upon them. A long time coming but well appreciated..

  • Susan Levy
    March 26, 2013 - 15:26

    It seems a little strange that the government is naming a fisherman's day on one hand and taking away their EI with the other.