Because of changing migration of North Atlantic right whales and their increased presence in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada has established seasonal speed restrictions in a specific zone. These restrictions combine 'static zone' and 'dynamic speed' sectors.

Changes to speed restriction zones

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Responding to consultations with industry, and based on scientific data, Canada made two changes to the restriction zone this year:

  • It removed the southeast corner of the speed restriction zone, around the Magdalen Islands;
  • To help reduce impacts on the marine shipping industry, it is allowing vessels, in the absence of North Atlantic right whale sightings, to travel at safe speeds in a larger area north of Anticosti Island, extending to the mainland.

 

 

Static zone

Coordinates for the new large speed restriction zone (static zone):

  • 47° 36’ N 062° 00’ W;
  • 47° 10’ N 062° 30’ W;
  • 47° 10’ N 065° 00’ W;
  • 50° 20’ N 065° 00’ W;
  • 50° 20’ N 063° 00’ W;
  • 49º 43’ N 063º 00’ W;
  • 49º 04’ N 062º 00’ W.

In the static zone, all ships of 20 m or more in length overall (LOA) must proceed at a speed of not more than 10.0 knots over the ground.

Dynamic sectors

The static zone has 4 'dynamic sectors': A, B, C and D.

Sector A:

  • 49⁰ 41’ N, 065⁰ 00’ W;
  • 49⁰ 20’ N, 065⁰ 00’ W;
  • 49⁰ 11’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W;
  • 49⁰ 22’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W.

Sector B:

  • 49⁰ 22’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W;
  • 49⁰ 11’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W;
  • 48⁰ 48’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W;
  • 49⁰ 00’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W.

Sector C:

  • 49⁰ 00’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W;
  • 48⁰ 48’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W;
  • 48⁰ 24’ N, 062⁰ 00’ W;
  • 48⁰ 35’ N, 062⁰ 00’ W.

Sector D:

  • 50⁰ 16’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W;
  • 50⁰ 00’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W;
  • 49⁰ 56’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W;
  • 50⁰ 16’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W.

These speed restrictions will be in effect for 15 days from the date we issue them. We may extend a restriction past the 15 days if North Atlantic right whales continue to be present. Speed restriction zones and sectors will be announced through NAVWARNs.

These restrictions will be in effect from April 28 to November 15, 2019. These dates may change, depending on when whales are present.

During this period, vessels of 20 m or more in length (LOA) must reduce their speed so as not to exceed 10.0 knots over the ground in the presence of North Atlantic right whales.

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