February 15, 2017 — In the past five years I have monitored hundreds of halibut offloads from small fishing vessels in Nova Scotia, from Eastern Passage to Marie Joseph.
It’s a rare privilege to be present first thing in the morning while many generations of Maritimers work together with small cranes and strong hands to make a hard living from this dangerous ocean.
To put this fishery in perspective, it was halibut the five young men on the Miss Ally were seeking when they lost their lives in a rogue wave while trying to get home.
I was at the dock in Seaforth that terrible day in February 2013, and the skipper landing halibut had just returned with his catch. He was pale from the storm he had just survived. It was dangerous even at the dock.
We had been listening to the Coast Guard radio communications on his radio regarding the lost crew. We were both devastated. It was the saddest and most poignant offload I have ever monitored.