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Nova Scotia Coast & Bay of Fundy | Whale Guardians™ Official rerouting Document

This document aims to be a summary for all shipping companies and their mariners in regard of the regulatory and voluntary whale protection measures that are being taken off the Nova Scotia Coast and the Bay of Fundy (Canada).

These guidelines are not made by the GWC but are copied from the “Mariner’s Guide to whales in the Northwest Atlantic”. This publication can be downloaded from the website

We update this document on a yearly basis in order to ensure that the latest known information is being published. We recommend to have the above publication available onboard of all ships sailing in the area.

The Gulf of Maine, the Bay of Fundy and the Nova Scotia coast form a high-traffic area for

commercial vessels. This territory also encompasses the Roseway Basin – designated a “seasonal Area to be Avoided” by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the Gully Marine Protected Area, and the Shortland and Haldimand canyons.

Ships are requested to avoid passing through these zones in order to reduce acoustic disturbance and the risk of collisions with marine mammals, including the North Atlantic right whale and the Scotian Shelf population of the northern bottlenose whale, both of which are endangered.

If these zones cannot be avoided, it is recommended to slow down to 10 knots or less and to

designate a crew member to maintain a watch. Doing so will maximize the chances of spotting marine mammals, which in turn helps prevent collisions.

The GWC offers tailor-made advise to shipping companies in regard of whale protection measures. Contact us: +(1) 828 284 0526

The Great Whale Conservancy (“GWC”) is an international non-profit organization devoted to the study of and the promotion of practices that will maximize protection of cetaceans–marine mammals, mainly whales, dolphins and porpoises. In particular, the GWC seeks to promote safe navigational practices that will help large ships avoid collisions with cetaceans. Ship collisions are one of the leading causes of whale deaths around the world, and especially given the size of modern tankers and container ships, watchkeeping officers are often completely unaware when a collision occurs. As modern ships continue to increase in size, this problem will only increase in severity, unless steps are taken to try to counter it. We believe that one of the most effective means of reducing the frequency of ship-whale collisions is to promote the use of shipping lanes (preferably IMO adopted TSS) that avoid areas that are thought to be most commonly frequented by these great creatures, at least during the times they are most likely to be in these areas, and that approach, along with other protective measures described herein, is the principal recommendation we are

making here. It is of utmost importance, however, to understand that the recommendations set forth on the following pages are only recommendations, to be followed only when weather, sea and traffic conditions permit, and that at all times, as you understand full well, the safety of the ship and its crew are paramount. These recommendations have been developed in consultation with a certified Master Mariner, and thus reflect what we and they agree would be a possible and workable passage plan under normal conditions for most of the commonly known ship types. However, it must be stressed that these recommendations under no circumstances relieve the Master of his/her responsibility of ensuring the safe navigation of his/her ship and at all times, the experience and judgment of the Master must be the dominant consideration in determining whether the above recommendations can be safely and prudently complied with, taking into account all factors influencing the safe navigation of the ship. But if the practices that we propose are being considered

during the preparation of your passage plan, you will be playing an important role in improving the ability of these great denizens of the sea to coexist safely with modern shipping.

The Great Whale Conservancy thanks you for your efforts in complying with our guidelines.

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