Ottawa fines two cargo ships for speeding in right whale protection zone

Fines of $7,800 each handed to a Dutch container ship, a bulk carrier registered in Hong Kong

The federal government is fining two cargo ships for allegedly breaking new speed limits introduced in an attempt to prevent endangered right whales from being struck by boats.

On Friday, Transport Canada handed penalties of $7,800 each to the Americaborg, a Dutch container ship, and the Atlantic Spirit, a bulk carrier registered in Hong Kong.

ALSO READ: Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

Ottawa brought in new measures earlier this month that expanded a slowdown zone in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and required vessels in one shipping lane to reduce their speed to 10 knots when a North Atlantic right whale is spotted in the area.

Transport Canada says other efforts include closing more fisheries and increasing aerial surveillance, with five aircraft tracking the marine mammals daily.

Since early June, eight right whales have died in Canadian waters, the worst death toll since 2017 when there were 12 confirmed deaths in Canadian waters and five in the United States. Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Tuesday only one death has been reported since the “aggressive” new measures came into effect on July 8 to protect the planet’s 400 remaining right whales.

Instead of heading to their traditional summer foraging grounds in the Bay of Fundy and the Roseway Basin off southwestern Nova Scotia, the population has shifted to a more northerly destination — right into the busy shipping lanes of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: One more death reported in central zone

Number of active cases has decreased by more than 200 since last week

Rural Rimbey overrun with abandoned cats

Who captures stray cats in Ponoka County?

Yellow Thunder back up and flying

Aerobatic team just starting to return after pandemic grounded them

Ermineskin Cree Nation plans for growth

Nation to expand reserve lands by 50 per cent

Health advisories issued for Gull Lake, Buffalo Lake

High levels of fecal bateria found in water

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Piscotty hits A’s 2nd walkoff slam this year, beats Rangers

Piscotty hits A’s 2nd walkoff slam this year, beats Rangers

McDavid gets first playoff hat trick, Oilers beat Chicago 6-3 in NHL qualifiers

McDavid gets first playoff hat trick, Oilers beat Chicago 6-3 in NHL qualifiers

Triumphant return for retooled Marlins, who beat Orioles 4-0

Triumphant return for retooled Marlins, who beat Orioles 4-0

Aho, Reimer help Hurricanes beat Rangers 4-1 for sweep

Aho, Reimer help Hurricanes beat Rangers 4-1 for sweep

Emerging young stars stand out at MLS tournament

Emerging young stars stand out at MLS tournament

Leafs solve Korpisalo, but lose Muzzin as Toronto evens series with Columbus 1-1

Leafs solve Korpisalo, but lose Muzzin as Toronto evens series with Columbus 1-1

Calgary Flames take 2-1 series lead with 6-2 win over Winnipeg Jets

Calgary Flames take 2-1 series lead with 6-2 win over Winnipeg Jets

Riley’s 3-run homer helps Fried, Braves beat Blue Jays 10-1

Riley’s 3-run homer helps Fried, Braves beat Blue Jays 10-1

Most Read