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Call to take part in scientific trails on alternative corridor from Cap de la Tête au Chien

June 11, 2024

Ships that are subject to compulsory pilotage in the St. Lawrence Estuary are being invited to take part in scientific trials to evaluate the effects of ascending the estuary using a route that avoids the Cap de la Tête au Chien sector. The alternative route is intended to enhance the Cap de la Tête au Chien region that is regularly frequented by endangered St. Lawrence belugas by minimizing underwater noise.

The trial periods in July and September follow an upstream route located approximately two nautical miles from Cap de la Tête au Chien, when it does not compromise navigational safety. The trials relate to the upstream route between Buoy K58 and Cap au Saumon involving a span of approximately 21 nautical miles. No operational impacts are expected.

Vessel owners/operators are being asked to participate to help assess the impact of the alternative route on the acoustic environment of the belugas. Both the operational use (such as ship transit times) and the ecological use (such as the acoustic and other activities of the belugas) will be documented.

The scientific trials are the initiative of the Group on Marine Traffic and Protection of Marine Mammals, which is tasked with identifying potential solutions for reducing the risk faced by marine mammals from shipping in the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay Fjord while at the same time considering the operational constraints and security concerns of the shipping industry. The group consists of representatives of the shipping industry, the marine conservation and protection sector, the scientific community as well as federal and provincial government agencies.

Participants are requested to provide information on operational parameters using this form.

Find out all about it here.