Voluntary Slowdown for Merchant Ships

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Fostering Cohabitation Between Shipping Industry and Whales

The Lower Estuary represents a prime feeding ground for large rorquals. This sector also overlaps one of the largest navigable waterways in North America, with a number of merchant ships and cruise vessels transiting the Marine Park every year. In order to lower the risks of collision, a slowdown measure has been developed in collaboration with the Group on Marine Traffic and Protection of Marine Mammals (G2T3M), which is composed of marine conservation organizations, the academic sector, government bodies and the shipping industry.

Since 2013, the shipping industry has voluntarily committed to limit the speed of its vessels to 10 knots between May 1 and October 31 within the feeding grounds of large rorquals off the shores of the Haute-Côte-Nord region.


Thanks to the cooperation of ship operators and pilots, the average transit speed has fallen from 14.2 knots when the measure is not in effect to 10.8 knots when it is, which bodes well for lowering the risks of collision.

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