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MEDIA RELEASE: Fiona Affected Harvesters Still Waiting on Government Support 

February 17, 2023

February 17, 2023

Just two months out from the upcoming fishing season, fish harvesters affected by Hurricane Fiona are still waiting for compensation for losses they experienced in the September disaster. Nearly 40 harvesters suffered losses of vessels, stages, wharves, pots, and other gear essential to the lobster fishery, which is the primary fishery and economic contributor for the region.

“These fish harvesters were promised government support immediately following the devastation of Hurricane Fiona. FFAW-Unifor has put hundreds of hours into working with harvesters to fill out applications to access government support, but we’re now two months out from the lobster fishery and harvesters are still waiting,” says FFAW-Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Jason Spingle.

Immediately following Hurricane Fiona, FFAW-Unifor began working with our members in the impacted area to start the process of accessing compensation for losses of infrastructure and fishing gear and equipment. Fish harvesters were directed to apply to the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) Small Business Program, however the process has proved to be convoluted and has left harvesters feeling frustrated and forgotten.

“Our communities are relying on government support to allow us to make desperately needed repairs to infrastructure and replace lost gear. Time is slipping away, and without this emergency assistance many may not be in a position to fish this year,” explains Troy Hardy, harvester from Burnt Islands and elected Inshore Council member for Francois to Codroy.

“Premier Furey made a commitment to help the people of our province recover after the devastating effects of Hurricane Fiona. It’s time for our provincial government to step up and get these harvesters back on their feet before the fishery starts,” Spingle concludes.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Courtney Glode (she/her)
FFAW-Unifor Communications