NWT fishers looking to retrofit their boats with safety equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic can now access funding from the territorial government.
The territorial government has created the Commercial Fisheries Industry Safety Support Program where NWT fishers can access up to $10,000 to equip their vessels with safety equipment.
Safety funding will be eligible for commercial fishers working on Great Slave Lake, Tathlina Lake, or Kakisa Lake.
Funding will be calculated based on the eligible fisher’s total production numbers from the previous season.
The funding will be used to equip fishing vessels with the safety equipment needed to meet both COVID-19 protection measures and Transport Canada’s Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations.
“The Commercial Fisheries Industry Safety Support Program will ensure that the health and safety equipment required by fishers and their employees is affordable and readily available on all small commercial fishing vessels operating in the North,” said Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.
The safety equipment that fishing vessels must carry is based on the length of a vessel’s hull.
Eligible safety equipment can include:
· Personal life-saving appliances and visual signals;
· Life-rafts and other life-saving appliances; and
· Firefighting equipment
The program will also provide fishers up to $1,000 to purchase cleaning supplies and equipment necessary to meet COVID-19 health orders issued by the NWT chief public health officer.
CKLB has reached out to the department of Industry, Tourism and Investment following up on the long term effects of this safety funding and is awaiting a response.