Montreal, March 28, 2018. The Minister of Transport today announced that the Canadian government will again implement a speed restriction measure in the western part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect North Atlantic right whales from the possibility of ship strikes. The government has adopted a dual approach for 2018, which combines a fixed speed restriction in a large area of the Gulf (where right whales were found to agreegate in 2017), with dynamic management measures in the shipping corridors north and south of Anticosti Island (where temporary mandatory speed restrictions will be activated when a right whale is observed in the area).
The 2018 announcement is an important first step towards the development of a dynamic management approach in the Gulf, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the regional science community to implement these measures as efficiently as possible, and to further refine the Canadian approach to dynamic mitigation measures beyond 2018.
The three key elements for effectively implementing dynamic management are: strengthening data on whale distribution, investing in and implementing whale detection technologies, and ensuring close cooperation between regulators, the science community, and vessels and their crews.
At the end of the day, the overall objective is to develop mitigation measures that protect North Atlantic right whales, while minimizing impacts on marine transportation in this vital trade corridor that supports the Canadian economy.
The Shipping Federation of Canada is the association that represents the owners, operators and agents of ships involved in Canada's international trade. Our members' essels operate in Atlantic Canada, the Saint Lawrence and Great Lakes, the West Coast and the Arctic, and are involved in all sectors of the shipping industry, including dry bulk, liquid bulk, container and cruise.