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Government Responds to Harvesters Concerns Regarding Placentia Lift Bridge Closure

05/14/2018

Government Responds to Harvesters Concerns Regarding Placentia Lift Bridge Closure

PLACENTIA BAY, NL - Over 25 fishing vessels that are affected following a malfunction of the lift bridge in Placentia will now have the opportunity to enter and exit the harbour twice per day. Provincial government officials responded to harvesters who expressed concern over the bridge’s closure during a crucial time in the fishing season.

The Placentia Lift Bridge will be available for manual lifts for harvesters entering or exiting the harbour between 5 am and 9 am as well as 2 pm and 6 pm starting today, Monday May 14.

“We are pleased to hear government has responded to concerns raised, and rather than force harvesters to sit idle and assume all costs of the impact, boats will now be able to exit and enter the harbour at set times,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.

The cable reel on the Sir Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge broke on April 30, and the replacement is not expected for over a month. FFAW-Unifor continues to urge the provincial government to speed up the timeline for permanent solutions, as a similar situation occurred with the lift bridge just last year.  

Enterprise owners and crew members were facing severe impacts as a result of the bridge closure. Approximately five vessels were unable to leave the harbour at all, others could only move at extremely low tides with adjustments to their topside, while others could only leave at certain tides. The situation presented serious safety concerns for harvesters who had little choice but to do what they could to exit the harbour.