This is a follow-up to the The Scuba News Canada article on “Right whales should have right of way: Ships ignoring voluntary slow down zone”
URGENT: Vessels are ignoring a voluntary slowdown measure meant to protect whales. And we have a small window to change that.
Sign the petition to demand mandatory slowdown measures to protect North Atlantic right whales.
In recent years, large numbers of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales have been seen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in pursuit of their food: copepods. They enter the Gulf through the Cabot Strait, a busy shipping area.
The Cabot Strait is so important to this critically endangered species that Transport Canada announced a trial voluntary vessel slowdown in 2020. Oceana Canada analyzed ship speeds and found that since 2020 an astonishing 60 per cent of vessel transits exceeded the voluntary speed limit of 10 knots.
Speeds at which a whale is not likely to survive a collision if struck by a ship.
We know slowing down can help protect these animals. Research has shown that slowing vessels down to 10 knots or less can reduce the lethality of a collision by 86 per cent. Right now, Transport Canada is making the decision about the future of the slowdown measure in the Cabot Strait. And you have a chance to make a real difference and protect right whales!
Tell the Minister of Transport Canada to make the Cabot Strait slowdown season long and mandatory, before it’s too late.