Coast Guard vessel fined for breaking Gulf speed limit

A Canadian Coast Guard vessel has been fined for breaking a recently imposed speed limit in the Gulf of St. Lawrence designed to help protect North Atlantic right whales.

Transport Canada announced Friday that the Sir William Alexander had been fined $6,000 for "an alleged non-compliance with the temporary mandatory slow down."

Two other vessels — Petalon and the Seven Seas Navigator — have also been fined in recent weeks for allegedly violating the temporary slowdown.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the 10-knot limit in August for the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Québec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island, for all vessels longer than 20 metres.

Several North Atlantic right whale deaths

At least 11 right whale deaths have been confirmed in the Gulf since early June, with the most recent carcass located off Miscou Island in northeastern New Brunswick on Friday.

In addition, three of the critically endangered mammals have been found dead in American waters since the beginning of the year.

Two whale carcasses were also discovered on the west coast of Newfoundland, but DFO is still trying to determine whether they are new specimens or two of the previously identified North Atlantic right whales spotted in the Gulf earlier in the summer.

DFO says there will be an attempt to recover the latest carcass and perform a necropsy next week.