RIVER JOHN – A Pictou County fisherman has been inducted into the Atlantic Canada Marine Industries Hall of Fame in the Mariner category.
Ronald Heighton has spent the bulk of his lifetime working on the water and also striving for the betterment of the fishing industry in the Maritimes.
Heighton has almost 50 years fishing experience fishing lobster, herring and he fished ground fish for over 30 years. He has a Fishing Master IV and has taken several courses in leadership and communication.
He currently serves as the president of the Gulf of Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board (GNSFP), an organization that examines broad-based issues and common concerns in the Gulf area and one that looks at ways to improve the area’s fishery including the creation of programs.
Heighton has been the Vice-President for the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters (CCPFH) for the past three terms and is a long-standing board member of the CCPFH. In addition to serving as president of GNSFP, he is also president of the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association. For over 25 years he has participated in multiple Nova Scotia Gulf species advisory committees, and he is a member of the Northumberland Fishermen’s Association and the Lobster Council of Canada.
He has also volunteered to be part of the Technical Advisory Committee for the recently released Fishing Vessel Stability Simulator program, a program meant to enhance the safety of fish harvesters across Canada.
In addition to his direct fisheries work, Heighton also volunteers his time working with harbour authorities and he has done volunteer work for the Northumberland Fisheries Museum.
The Mariner category recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution at sea in any marine field – this could include anyone from a captain or crewmember on anything from fishing boats to cargo ships to oil tankers to Coast Guard and all points in between.