Transport Canada has released an update (SSB 09/22) to its Ship Safety Bulletin respecting the speed restriction zones that vessels must follow in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Changes to the speed restriction zones will be effective from April 20 to November 15, 2022, while the restricted area will be implemented based on whale presence as follows:
- For a third and final year, a trial voluntary slowdown of 10.0 knots over the ground spanning from Cabot Strait (a line running from Cape North NS to Cape Ray NL) to the eastern edge of dynamic shipping zone E will be implemented at the beginning and end of the North Atlantic right whale season.
- Again this year, a restricted area is located in and near Shediac Valley. The location and size are both based on historical data of North Atlantic right whale aggregations, while the triggering mechanism is based on in-season detections.
- The 36.57 m (20-fathom) shallow water protocol will apply once again to all commercial fishing vessels.
This Bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin No. 05/21. Furthermore, speed restriction zones are described in monthly Notices to Mariners (NOTMARs), which are published by the Canadian Coast Guard. The status of these zones is broadcasted through NAVWARNs, which are published by the Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres.