The Canadian government announced the enforcement of the speed restriction for vessels to protect whales in the area in September 2017, but lifted the speed restriction in January, to ensure safe manoeuverability of ships in winter conditions. During this period, several fines on vessels were imposed.

Static zone coordinates

  • 47° 10’ N 062° 00’ 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

Dynamic sector coordinates

Within the static zone, all vessels of 20m or more in length must proceed at a speed not exceeding 10 knots over the ground. Within the static zone, four dynamic sectors have been created along the principal shipping routes. Vessels may proceed at a safe operational speed when the Government of Canada has determined that whales do not appear to be present. When right whale presence has been determined inside a dynamic sector, vessels 20m or more in length:

  • will be notified through a NOTSHIP; and
  • are required to proceed at a speed not exceeding 10.0 knots over the ground within that sector.

Sector A

  • 49⁰ 41’ N, 065⁰ 00’ W
  • 49⁰ 20’ N, 065⁰ 00’ W
  • 49⁰ 11’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W
  • 49⁰ 22’ N, 064 ⁰ 00’ W

Sector B

  •  49⁰ 22’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W
  • 49⁰ 11’ N, 064 ⁰ 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, 062 ⁰ 00’ W

Sector D

  • 50⁰ 06’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W
  • 50⁰ 00’ N, 064⁰ 00’ W
  • 49⁰ 56’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W
  • 50⁰ 03’ N, 063⁰ 00’ W

Once the mandatory speed restriction has been lifted, vessels are asked to voluntarily reduce their speed to not exceed 10.0 knots over ground:

  • in the presence of North Atlantic Right whales
  • only if maritime conditions permit safe operation of their vessel at that speed.

Although exemptions to the mandated speed restrictions will not be granted in advance, the authorities will review and consider the following reasons for non-compliance:

--> Navigating to ensure vessel safety.
--> Weather conditions.
--> Force Majeure (unforeseeable circumstances).
--> Responding to emergencies.

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