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Canada orders ships to reduce speed to prevent whale deaths

Canada orders ships to reduce speed to prevent whale deaths
From Reuters - August 11, 2017

TORONTO (Reuters) - Certain ships are being ordered to reduce speed because of the deaths of at least 10 North Atlantic right whales in Canada'sGulf of St Lawrence during the past two months, the government said on Friday.

The deaths have made 2017 the deadliest year for the endangered marine mammal since scientists began tracking their numbers in the 1980s, researchers said.

The ministries of transport and fisheries issued a temporary order for vessels 20 meters or longer to slow to a maximum of 10 knots in the western portion of the Gulf, which stretches from Quebec to north of Prince Edward Island.

There have been an increase in right whales in the area over the last three to four years, said Tonya Wimmer, director of the Marine Animal Response Society.

Human activity has caused at least some of the deaths. Threewhales died from blunt force trauma consistent with being struck by a large vessel and one was entangled in fishing nets.

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