Newfoundland fishermen face questions about their livelihoods after damage from Storm Fiona – Smithers Interior News


Colorful fishing steps danced in the water by Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou on Tuesday as Cliff Bateman watched from his property.

Days earlier, the quaint buildings used to land and process fish stood before post-tropical storm Fiona washed them into the ocean near the town in southwestern Newfoundland.

Bateman watched the storm throw them into the water.

“It’s a great loss, I tell you,” he said from inside his kitchen. The now-retired fisherman said he stored a priceless accumulation of gear and history inside the structures that have been passed down to his family, some built over 100 years ago.

“You work your whole life for this, and in an hour it’s all gone.”

Fiona’s path of destruction through Atlantic Canada has severely damaged the fishing industry and communities along the southwest coast of Newfoundland have not been spared. Fishermen and landowners are awaiting news of possible government assistance and wondering if it will be enough to fill the gaps.

At Burnt Islands, about a 20-minute drive west of Rose Blanche, Troy Hardy got off his boat on Tuesday to observe the scene. Fishing pontoons near the community harbor were badly damaged, destroying people’s workstations and overturning their equipment overboard.

Some people, like Hardy, suffered less severe losses, but of the roughly nine fishermen in the community, he said “it’s safe to say that each of them has been affected in some way or other.” another one “.

“Everyone’s livelihood is greatly affected by what’s happened, to the point where you’re just trying to look around and see how you’re going to make it work for the season ahead,” Hardy said. .

In addition to personal gear, a building shared between fishermen for their labor and storage of their catch was badly damaged, Hardy said. He expects people to scramble to pick up and get gear ahead of next spring seasons.

“It’s a big impact for fishermen, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s very worrying.”

—Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press



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