Safe at Sea

Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

There is a long-standing narrative in Nova Scotia of fishermen defying the elements, risking life to make a living on the sea. Television shows like Cold Water Cowboys and The Deadliest Catch are quick to attempt to glorify the dangers and celebrate the rugged heroism of this trade.

This is the culture that the Safe at Sea Alliance is trying to change – to shift the conversation to be about the value of wearing PFDs, better regulations, and safer working conditions. Championed by Stuart MacLean – CEO at Workers’ Compensation Board NS – and other industry and government partners, the Alliance developed the Fishing Safety Now action plan, and needed help to make it resonate with fisherman, their families and Nova Scotians at large.

This is where we picked up the story. We wanted to find the opposing narrative to the macho TV shows. We wanted to tell the human story behind the statistics.The story of the needless, preventable tragedies that tear families and communities apart.

In an act of extraordinary generosity and bravery, fishermen and their families shared their experiences. It led to an intimate and emotional film that reveals powerful insights about the realities of life in the fishery.


  • Executive Producer: Nic Fieldsend
  • Client Producer : Allison Himmelman, WCBNS
  • Writer/Director/Editor : Nance Ackerman
  • Production Manager : Jayson Taylor
  • Cinematography : John Pollack
  • Additional Photography: Jayson Taylor & Nance Ackerman
  • Sound Recordist: Jamie Alcorn & Cory Sewell
  • Production Coordinator: Kate Mosher
  • Sound Design and Original Music: Jamie Alcorn