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Enhancing North Atlantic right whale protection in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

July 8, 2019

In response to the recent deaths in June 2019 of six North Atlantic right whales (NARW) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Government of Canada has modified existing management measures and announced further measures in order to enhance NARW protection.

These additional measures took effect July 9, 2019. They include (but are not limited to):

  • slowing down more ships in key areas (with slowdown measures now applicable to vessels longer than 13 metres as opposed to 20 metres or longer)
  • increasing the zones farther east in which speed restrictions will apply
  • expanding the slowdown buffer zone around the dynamic corridors and between every sector
  • increasing aerial surveillance
  • expanding the funding for initiatives to enhance marine mammal response.

The increased surveillance will help to provide more information on where the whales are, and the results will be used to determine the plan for increased surveillance for the rest of the season, and any further measures required to protect the whales.

For a complete overview of the current measures in place in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, please refer to Transport Canada’s website.