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.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake Community Partners helps families prepare for school

The Tools for School is in its second year, and has helped around 50 families

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake swings into its 17th year

The annual music festival ran over three days this past weekend

Town of Sylvan Lake looking at lake usage in new survey

The Town is in talks to contract part of the lake, but has to have a plan for water usage first

Over 1,000 barrel racers pouring into Ponoka next week for ABRA Finals

The Alberta Barrel Racing Association Finals will be held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre Aug. 19-25

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Alberta oil curtailment rules extended to late 2020 as pipeline delays drag on

At issue is ability to export oil in face of regulatory and legal challenges against pipelines

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read