North P&I Club has said that at least three fines had been issued to vessels by Transport Canada for exceeding the temporary speed restriction in place for the Western Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The restriction came into force on August 11th 2017 in an effort to protect the North Atlantic Right whales in the area. The speed restriction applies to vessels over 19.8m in length transiting the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.
North said that Transport Canada’s marine communications and traffic service centre monitored the shipping traffic in the area by their speed over the ground via AIS data. Any vessel detected with an average speed over 10 knots in any five minute period was liable to receive a fine. North highlighted the importance of crews monitoring closely the vessel’s speed over the ground and not through water