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Isle aux Morts' lone fisherman still assessing damage from Fiona; 12 bait freezers lost

With no community stage or cooler in Isle aux Morts, inshore fisherman John Coley Jr. had 12 freezers full of about 3,000/lbs of mackerel and baited gear — until hurricane Fiona tore through the historic fishing village. Between the flooding and power loss, the freezers were lost, as was his stage.

John Coley Jr. lost the stage he built two years ago, and 12 bait freezers on Sept. 24th to post-tropical storm Fiona. He says the water got much higher after that video was taken during the morning of the storm.

John speaks of devastating damage to his community and others nearby, and constant cleanup efforts, but he's not one to talk about his personal loss. The information has to be almost pried from him.

He considers himself lucky compared to some of his neighbours, who lost much more.

John — who became the last licensed fisherman in Isle aux Morts a few years ago when he took over his father's enterprise — is still awaiting word on whether he will be reimbursed for his losses, and, until then, graciously brushes off offers of help.

It's been said often, but if there's one positive from the devastation that was Fiona it's that, once again, the best has been brought out in our people.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.

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