On August 11, 2017, 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 metres or more to a maximum of 10 knots. The speed restriction applies to vessels travelling 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 slow down respected by all vessels in the designated area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
To that effect, Transport Canada has issued a $6,000 penalty to the vessel Petalon for an alleged non-compliance with the temporary mandatory slow down. 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 non-compliance, on a case by case basis.
“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.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport