Transport Canada has issued a CAD 12,000 (about USD 9,000) penalty to a containership operated by Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and five other fines to vessels for non-compliance with the temporary mandatory slow down in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Specifically, the Panamax boxship MSC Diego was fined for not respecting measures introduced by the Government of Canada to protect endangered whales in Canadian waters.
Built in 1999, MSC Diego has a capacity of 4,056 TEUs and flies the flag of Panama.
Additionally, monetary penalties of CAD 6,000 were issued to vessels Oslo Bulk, Isola Celeste and Princess Ashita.
What is more, Canadian Coast Guard vessels CCGS Cape Edensaw and CCGS Cap d’Espoir were fined CAD 6,000 and CAD 12,000, respectively.
As informed, the vessels’ owners have 30 days to pay their penalty or to ask the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada to review the facts of their individual violations or the amounts of their penalties.
“Vessels must transit in a way that does not harm the endangered North Atlantic right whale population. When they exceed the set speed limits, we won’t hesitate to issue fines,” Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport of Canada, commented.
On July 8, 2019, Transport Canada implemented additional precautionary measures to those already in effect since April 28, to address the risks whales face from vessel activity.
These included expanding the current slowdown zone further east where vessels are required to travel at 10 knots throughout the season, and a new slowdown shipping lane where vessels are required to slow down to 10 knots when a North Atlantic right whale is spotted in the area.
Mandatory speed restrictions were expanded to include any vessel over 13 meters long. Previously, the restriction applied to vessels of 20 meters and over.