OTTAWA, Aug. 12, 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.
Today, Transport Canada has issued six fines for non-compliance of the temporary mandatory slow down. The vessels' owners have 30 days to pay their penalty or to ask the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada to review the facts of their individual violations or the amounts of their penalties.
Vessels being fined:
- a monetary penalty of $12,000 was issued to the vessel MSC Diego;
- monetary penalties of $6,000 were issued to each of the vessels Oslo Bulk, Isola Celeste and Princess Ashita; and
- monetary penalties of $6,000 and $12,000 were issued to CCGS Cape Edensaw and CCGS Cap d'Espoir respectively.
While the shipping industry has been compliant in respecting these measures, there are still some 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. This included implementing a temporary mandatory slowdown in the shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island on June 26, 2019, as well as the implementation of additional measures on July 8, 2019, such as increasing the areas for slowdowns, slowing down more ships, increasing the buffer zones in which speed restrictions apply, 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.
During the slowdown period, because the speed limit was the same throughout the Gulf area, data shows that vessels were using more direct routes to transit through the Gulf instead of using the shipping lanes. This has resulted in more marine traffic coming closer to known whale locations. In order to encourage vessel traffic in areas where no North Atlantic right whales have been spotted, as of August 2, 2019 vessels, were once again encouraged to maximize efficient routes to transit through the Gulf, moving at safe operational speed limits through the designated shipping lanes.
Transport Canada also augmented its whale monitoring activity with its National Aerial Surveillance Program. Information from increased surveillance is being analyzed to determine best practices and inform any additional measures that may be required to protect whales this season.
"Vessels must transit in a way that does not harm the endangered North Atlantic right whale population. When they exceed the set speed limits, we won't hesitate to issue fines. The Government of Canada remains committed to working with the marine shipping industry, science experts, and our American partners to monitor and protect the North Atlantic right whale."
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
- Transport Canada issues two fines for vessels who contravened the speed restriction in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Transport Canada fines a vessel for contravening the speed restriction in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Government of Canada adjusts measures to protect the North Atlantic right whales
- Government of Canada introduces new, additional measures to protect the North Atlantic right whale
- Statement by Minister Garneau regarding actions taken to address the recent deaths of North Atlantic right whales
- Government of Canada unveils its 2019 plan for protecting North Atlantic right whales
- Administrative Enforcement Action Summaries
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SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Delphine Denis, Media Relations Manager, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700, [email protected]; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055, [email protected]