Slow Down for Whales: Fines for Vessels Breaking Gulf of St Lawrence Speed Limit

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07 August 2019

Transport Canada has lifted speed restrictions in the Gulf of St Lawrence after recent surveillance found no whales in shipping lanes.

Whale surveillance will continue and it is expected that speed restrictions will resume if North Atlantic right whales are found in shipping lanes.

Thanks to Patriot Maritime Compliance, LLC for this update.


29 July 2019

Transport Canada are imposing fines for vessels breaking the speed limits in place for the Gulf of St Lawrence.

A speed limit of 10 knots was imposed in April 2019 to address the risks that whales face from vessel activity in the Gulf of St Lawrence. This ‘slowdown zone’ was expanded on 8 July 2019 and a new slowdown shipping lane was introduced, where vessels are required to slow down to 10 knots when a North Atlantic right whale is spotted in the area.

Transport Canada has now released a statement advising that financial penalties of CAD 7,800 have been issued against two vessels that are alleged to have violated the speed restrictions.
Further information on the protected area and speed restrictions can be found on the Transport Canada website.