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Transport Canada updates speed restrictions to protect North Atlantic right whales

April 14, 2021

Based on scientific data and consultations with the maritime industry, Transport Canada has revised speed restriction zones to minimize ship strikes with endangered North Atlantic right whales.

For a second consecutive year, a voluntary slowdown of 10 knots over the ground has been announced for the span from Cabot Strait (the line running from Cape North, Nova Scotia, to Cape Ray, Newfoundland) to the eastern edge of Dynamic Shipping Zone E for the start and end of the whale season.

The restricted area in and off Shediac Valley (in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, east of New Brunswick and northwest of Prince Edward Island) is based on historical data regarding right whale aggregations and will go into effect based on detections within the region’s whale season.

New this year is a 36.57-metre (20-fathom) shallow water protocol applying to all commercial fishing vessels.

The full details are posted in Ship Safety Bulletin 05/2021.