According to the Canadian Government, the Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, issued a statement based on unfortunate deaths of many North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters; Because of this, he implemented a precautionary speed restriction of 10 knots, for vessels of 20 metres and more, that sail in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in the two designated shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island.
Specifically, he highlighted that this measure is effective immediately.
He further noted that the new measure is an addition to the existing speed restrictions that were presented on April 28, 2019, in a large area in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where vessels 20 metres or longer are restricted to a maximum of 10 knots until November 15, 2019.
Moreover, Transport Canada will keep on monitoring the situation in the area, along with Transport Canada inspectors, with assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services, will enforce this precautionary measure.
As Mr Garneau reported
Failure to comply will result in an Administrative Monetary Penalty of up to $25,000.
The Canadian government has been monitoring the situation the last three years by taking action to protect the North Atlantic right whales, who have been increasingly present in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in recent years.
Meanwhile, the Minister discussed the $1.5 billion investment in the Oceans Protection Plan, provided by the Government to protect Canada’s marine environment.
As part of the plan to protect marine mammals from the effects of shipping, including collisions and noise pollution, researchers are working to locate and track marine mammals in high vessel traffic areas and provide this information to mariners.
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