Transport Canada Issues Three More Speeding Fines
Transport Canada said it continues to take action to help ensure navigational safety and to protect the marine environment after issuing three speeding fines.
In August, Transport Canada implemented a temporary mandatory slowdown of vessels 20 meters (66 feet) or more to a maximum of 10 knots due to the increased presence of whales in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.
Penalties of $6,000 have most recently been issued to the vessels Azoresborg, New Shanghai and Jacqueline C for alleged non-compliance with the slowdown. In September, Transport Canada issued a similar fine to the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir William Alexander, and before that, to Petalon and the Seven Seas Navigator.
North Atlantic right whales are a migratory species that frequents Atlantic Ocean coastal waters. The species is listed under the federal Species at Risk Act as endangered, and there are approximately 500 left in the world. The whale is a slow swimmer, averaging about four knots. Collisions with vessels, entanglement in fishing gear and underwater noise are the most serious threats to the population.
Since June 12 North Atlantic Right Whales have died in the Gulf. The annual average mortality rate in Canada and the U.S. combined is 3.8 per year, and Transport Canada says these recent deaths represent a significant threat to the population.
“Our government is determined to promote the safe coexistence of ship traffic and the marine environment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We are committed to ensuring that all vessels meet the temporary speed limit, and we will continue to take all appropriate action to ensure the safety of the whales,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport.