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Government Inaction at Placentia Lift Bridge Repairs Leaves Harvesters Stranded

May 8, 2018

May 8, 2018

For immediate release.

PLACENTIA, NL – Over 25 fishing vessels are affected following a malfunction of the lift bridge in Placentia, with government claiming it could take over a month before the bridge is back in operation. Harvesters are demanding government take action to repair the bridge in a timely manner or provide compensation for the effects on their enterprises.

“The fishing season is short and our livelihoods are on the line, but government has made it clear that the fishing industry in Placentia Bay is not a concern for them,” said Placentia harvester Kenneth Viscount.

Enterprise owners and crew members are facing severe impacts as a result of the bridge closure. Approximately five vessels are unable to leave the harbour at all while others can only move at extremely low tides with adjustments to their topside. This situation also presents serious safety concerns for harvesters who have little choice but to do what they can to exit the harbour.

“The lack of urgency government has shown in their response to the damaged lift bridge in Placentia is absolutely unacceptable,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan. “Waiting over a month for a fix is not feasible in such a time sensitive industry. We are demanding that government come up with a better solution that will not have the fishing industry in Placentia Bay thrown to the wayside,” Sullivan added.

Enterprise owners are taking on significant costs in order to service their vessels from other ports. Additionally, there is lost work on the wharf because buyers must purchase fish elsewhere as a result of landings having to go to other ports. In turn, the harbour authority may receive less funding in future years due to impacted landings.

“If this was the other way around and the bridge was stuck in the lifted position, I know we’d see government making this a priority,” added Placentia harvester Calvin Kerrivan.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Courtney Glode
FFAW-Unifor Communications