Transport Canada fines a vessel for contravening the speed restriction in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

SOURCE Transport Canada

OTTAWA, Aug. 20, 2019 /CNW/ - Endangered whales such as the North Atlantic right whale deserve to live in a safe environment in Canadian waters. That is why the Government of Canada has introduced several measures to address the risks they face from both marine and fishing activity.

One of the implemented measures includes speed restrictions in certain zones in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and when a vessel contravenes the restriction, the Government of Canada takes swift action. To that end, today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that the department has fined a vessel for alleged non-compliance of a temporary mandatory speed restriction. The tanker Selasse was issued a $6000 fine.

While compliance with the protection measures remains high, there are still a few exceptions, and Transport Canada continues to examine all reported cases of non-compliance.

In response to the recent deaths of North Atlantic right whales, the Government of Canada took substantial actions over the summer.  These include increasing the areas in the Gulf subject to a mandatory speed limit of 10 knots, slowing down a wider range of marine vessels, and increasing aerial surveillance. These measures were in addition to those implemented on April 28, 2019, which includes a large slowdown area throughout much of the Gulf.

In addition to speed restrictions Transport Canada also augmented its whale monitoring activity with its National Aerial Surveillance Program. Information from increased surveillance continues to be analyzed to determine best practices and inform any additional measures that may be required to protect whales this season.

Quote

"We continue to emphasize that vessels must transit in a way that does not harm the endangered North Atlantic right whale population and other marine mammals. The Government of Canada remains committed to working with the marine industry, science experts, and our American partners to monitor and protect the North Atlantic right whale."

The Honourable Marc Garneau   
Minister of Transport

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