Two coast guard ships fined for speeding in right whale protection zone

In this Feb. 14, 2017 photo provided by the Center for Coastal Studies, a pair of right whales feed just below the surface of Cape Cod Bay off shore from Provincetown, Mass. (Center for Coastal Studies via AP via CTV Atlantic)

Two coast guard ships are among six vessels fined by Transport Canada for breaking the speed limit in Gulf of St. Lawrence, which was temporarily put in place following the recent deaths of North Atlantic right whales.

The CCGS Cape Edensaw and CCGS Cap d'Espoir were fined $6,000 and $12,000 respectively, while a luxury yacht and three cargo vessels were also fined.

The speed restriction was lifted on August 2nd after government found ships were using more direct routes through the Gulf instead of shipping lanes, which brought ships closer to known whale locations.

A large slowdown area was implemented throughout much of the Gulf on April 28th, with a temporary mandatory slowdown in the shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island on June 26th, and additional measures on July 8th.

Transport Canada says information from increased surveillance is being analyzed to determine best practices and inform any additional measures that may be required to protect whales this season.