April 15, 2024 | Circular No. 11658

Dear Member,

Further to CL 11650, measures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales begin on April 17, 2024 and include a voluntary slowdown to 10 knots in Cabot Strait April 17- June 25 and September 25- November 15. We strongly encourage members to participate in this slowdown, noting that it decreases the risk of North Atlantic whale deaths caused by collisions with vessels in the spring and fall while these endangered whales are migrating into and out of Canadian waters via the Cabot Strait.

Participation rates in this voluntary slowdown have increased steadily since it was first put into place in 2020. Participation in the spring of 2022 and 2023, were 82.7%  and 83.5%, respectively. Our goal is to continue this trend and minimize the risks ships pose to these whales.

For Distribution to Vessels

Ship agents play an important role in communicating with vessels about this voluntary measure. We request that you distribute the below multi-language postcard to vessels that will be transiting the Gulf of St. Lawrence and recommend participation in the slowdown. Details are also available in a 2-page information Sheet for vessel agents/ operators in English and French.

As a reminder, the Federation is also pleased to provide provide hard copies of ‘A Mariner’s Guide to Whales‘ for distribution to all vessels calling the East Coast of Canada, at no cost to members.

Please contact the undersigned with questions or to obtain copies of the Mariner’s Guide to Whales.

Sincerely,

Miako Ushio
Director, Environmental Affairs