Mersey, Mersey Me.

On the day of Dalhouise Law’s 2007 Convocation (if you follow this link around 1:30-2ish AST, 12:30 EST, you might see the 2007 grads marching up the street) I want to bring your attention to a Maritime case that was decided in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on May 16. In R. v. Mersey Seafoods Ltd., 2007 NSSC 155 , Justice Warner ruled that the occupational health and safety legislation of Nova Scotia does not apply to a fishing vessel based out of Nova Scotia. In paras. 99 & 103 of the decision Justice Warner states:

“[99] Safety aboard ships, including fishing vessels, is, in pith and substance, an essential part of the management of ships, and of maritime law, and is therefore a matter of exclusive federal jurisdiction under section 91(10) of the Constitution Act 1867….
[103]Nova Scotia’s occupational health and safety legislation should not apply to a fishing vessel regulated under the Canada Shipping Act.

The province has not yet decided if it will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

For commentary see the CBC story Safety on fishing boats a federal concern, court reaffirms.


  1. They still have fish in the Maritimes?

  2. Of course they have fish. Where do you think they get their mercury for thermometers, flourescent light bulbs, and the like?

  3. There are still fishing boats- fish is another matter altogether.