Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shipping Firm Blames Fee Hike on Federal Measures to Protect Right Whales

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shipping Firm Blames Fee Hike on Federal Measures to Protect Right Whales

Article excerpt

Fee hike blamed on whale protection measures

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A Newfoundland shipping firm is raising its fees, blaming higher costs because of federal measures taken to protect North Atlantic right whales after a series of deaths.

Oceanex Inc. says the four-per-cent "temporary marine protection surcharge" on service between Montreal and St. John's, N.L., follows a federal speed limit imposed last Friday in an area of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Ten of the endangered mammals have died in the gulf since early June -- at least some after colliding with ships.

Oceanex says in a release Friday the new regulations mean its vessels must travel more quickly outside the speed-restricted zone.

It says the measure "significantly increases vessel fuel consumption" and raises labour costs in port.

In a notification to clients, Oceanex asks them to raise any concerns about the regulation with the federal government.

"As a marine transportation operator, Oceanex is cognizant of its responsibility to promote navigation safety and protection of the marine environment. …

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