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Atlantic Fishermen Groups want more Time to Adapt to new Vessel Safety Rules

North Lake harbour in eastern Prince Edward Island. Image: Vic Brincat, via Wikimedia Commons

CHARLOTTETOWN — The head of the PEI Fishermen’s Association says fishermen in the region are frustrated with the rollout of new federal fishing vessel safety regulations scheduled to take effect in July.

General Manager Ian MacPherson says industry representatives walked out of a meeting with Transport Canada officials Thursday in Halifax.

MacPherson says fishermen are concerned about the lack of a detailed strategy to help the industry comply with the new rules.

Under the regulations which take effect July 13, vessels will be required to have written safety procedures and safety equipment such as life rafts, survival suits and a location signaling device.

MacPherson says estimates place the cost of the equipment at $3,000 or more and fishermen are looking for more time to purchase what’s needed and to absorb the new rule requirements.

He says the industry has asked for a two or three−year phase in period, but federal officials have not been receptive to the idea.

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The Canadian Press, 2017