To our valued customers,
In August of 2017, Transport Canada implemented a mandatory speed restriction for vessels sailing through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, due to an increase in the presence of North Atlantic right whales. After careful review, the Minister of Transport lifted that restriction in January of this year, recognizing the migration of right whales outside of the Gulf region. As a marine transportation operator, Oceanex has always been very cognizant of its responsibility to promote navigation safety and protection of the marine environment. As such, Oceanex took the necessary action to comply with the government order while still providing its customers with reliable, on-time service.
With the right whale population beginning to migrate back into key areas throughout the Gulf, Transport Canada recently announced that a speed restriction would again be implemented, effective as early as April 28th and extending through to November 15th, 2018. As outlined in the attached press release, depending on whale sightings these temporary speed restrictions will be put in place in three key shipping lanes that Oceanex normally transits. This essentially means that mandatory slow downs will be put into effect if there are whale sightings, and conversely the restrictions would be lifted if there are no sightings.
In order to comply with this new temporary regulation, Oceanex vessels may need to operate at reduced speeds during a portion of voyages between Montreal and St. John’s. To mitigate the impact of this on our weekly sailing schedule, our vessels will need to transit at faster speeds when operating outside of the affected zones. These vessel speed adjustments will impact both our terminal operating hours and vessel operations, resulting in an increase in labour costs loading and discharging cargo in port and fuel consumption during sailing. As a result, Oceanex will be implementing a temporary Marine Protection Surcharge for all shipments to and from Montreal – this surcharge will only take effect once Transport Canada mandates a speed restriction. Once in place, the surcharge will remain in effect until November 15, 2018 (dates may be adjusted depending on evidence of right whales in the area and marine safety issues). Please refer to the chart below for further details:
For inquiries related to this Transport Canada imposed slowdown, please refer to the following information – Transport Canada – Protecting North Atlantic Right Whales. Thank you for your attention to this matter; we look forward to continuing to provide you with reliable transportation solutions throughout Eastern Canada.
Vice-President, Sales & Marketing