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News: The Government of Canada has established speed restriction measures in the Gulf of St Lawrence

19 August 2020

With the aim of reducing the risk of ship collisions with North Atlantic right whales (NARW), the Canadian government has implemented speed restriction zones in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

A Ship Safety Bulletin was issued on 30 July, that modifies speed restriction zones (effective from 28 April 2020) and implements a restricted area from 2 August 2020 onwards. These measures will remain in force until 15 November 2020.  

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) publishes monthly Notices to Mariners (NOTMARs), through their Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centres. The current navigational warning includes the speed restrictions defined as 'static zones', 'seasonal management areas', a trial 'voluntary speed restriction zone' and a 'restricted area'. These restrictions must be followed by all ships as per the Interim Order Protecting North Atlantic Right Whales (Eubalaena Glacialis) in and near the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Please note the Ship Safety Bulletin no 11/2020 of our attachment box. The bulletin includes an updated map of the regions in question, restrictions for each area,  the latest coordinates, broadcast method, aids to navigation, compliance, enforcement and reporting contact details. 

Members should consult the latest update of this Bulletin prior  to navigating through the Gulf of St. Lawrence to ensure compliance with the requirements and avoid administrative monetary penalties up to CAN $25,000 and/or penal sanctions under the Canada Shipping Act 2001.

We thank ECM Maritime Services for this important update.