The following is the text of a news release from Transport Canada:
(OTTAWA) — On Aug. 11, Transport Canada took action to help ensure navigational safety and to protect the marine environment, due to the increased presence of whales in the area, by implementing a temporary mandatory slow down of vessels 20 meters (65 feet) or more to a maximum of 10 knots. The speed restriction applies to vessels traveling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.
While the shipping industry in general has been proactive in respecting the speed limits, the government of Canada is determined to have the temporary mandatory slowdown respected by all vessels in the designated area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
To that effect, Transport Canada on Wednesday issued a $6,000 penalty to the vessel Pearl Mist for an alleged noncompliance with the temporary mandatory slowdown. The vessel owner has 30 days to pay the penalty or to ask the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada to review the facts of the violation or the amount of the penalty.
Transport Canada is examining all reported cases of noncompliance on a case-by-case basis.
“Our government is determined to promote the safe co-existence of ship traffic and the marine environment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We are committed to ensuring that all vessels respect the temporary speed limit, and we will continue to take all appropriate action to ensure the safety of the whales,” said Transport Minister Marc Garneau.