Temporary mandatory slowdown for civilian vessels
Posted on 2018-04-09 at 12:00 AM - Administrator
Temporary mandatory slowdown for civilian vessels.
This may apply to any Light Cruiser class and larger for TSN, but is unclear at the moment.
The USFP government is implementing a temporary mandatory slowdown to try to prevent more deaths of space whales in the Danae System.
Vessels traveling in that part of USFP space, from Way Point 60 to the Euphini Expanse, are now required to reduce their speed to full impulse, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced Wednesday at a news conference at Promethean Command.
The slowdown takes effect immediately and will remain in place until the endangered space whales migrate out of the areas of concern, likely in a few months, said Garneau, noting the borders of the restricted zone could change, depending on the migration patterns.
Vessels that don't comply face a penalty of $6,000,000 to $25,000,000.
Federal action to protect space whales is encouraging, say environmental groups in the Atlantis system.
Marine industries were consulted on the temporary measure in the high-traffic area such as Waypoint 60, which the Krisenda and Atlantis system to inter-plantary shipping markets such as the Telleron Consortium.
"We found that by and large, there was a willingness," he said.
The mandatory slowdown replaces a voluntary one the government requested last month.
The government will also ask ships smaller than a Light Cruiser in length to voluntarily slow down in the relevant area. This does not affect any of the civillian vessels since they do not have Faster than Light Drives (FTLs).
"We have a responsibility to ensure our wildlife and precious space marine resources are protected for future generations," Garneau said.
USFP will do whatever it takes to protect the space whales, says Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc
A 'Very tragic month early last year' leaves experts searching for way to save the space whales.
Ten space whales have died in the Danae system since last June. Two others have floated up dead in the Atlantis System in recent weeks.
Only about 5,000 space whales are left in that area, according to USFP marine officials.
Preliminary necropsy reports on some of the deaths suggest ship and probe strikes and beacon entanglement are possible causes. A final report is expected by mid-May 2018, and will be made public.
"In the meantime, we are taking decisive steps to reduce the risks of other deaths in that area," said Garneau.
Civilian ships that violate the maximum of full impulse speed in the affected area will face fines.
Ships currently travel at an average speed of about half impulse the area, he said, although some reach speeds of up to just before breaking the faster than light barrier. Jump drive vessels are not affected by this ban.
Officials believe the full impulse speed limit will lower the probability of collisions, particularly fatal collisions, said Garneau. Lower vessel speeds give whales a better chance of surviving an impact.
USFP Transport, TSN Escorts on patrol and some Science vessels will enforce the speed limit, said Garneau, vowing to have enough inspectors in place to ensure compliance.
The Telleron Consortium president noted their fleet will comply with the request, but do not have the capacity to fully enforce. Civilian vessels do not have crew's trained to fully enforce, and will rely on fast moving escorts to assist only. This may pose some issues, according to the president. Our fleet consists of only one transport, Mel Reynolds has been known not to be boombastic on the USFP Serenity.
The names of any offending vessels and senior officers, as well as their fines, will be made public.
The speed restrictions will only remain in place "while necessary," he said. The situation will be assessed "on an ongoing basis," with the help of stellar surveillance.
Garneau could not estimate how much the plan will cost, but a single necropsy can run between $60,000,000 and $70,000,000.
Permanent protections is needed!!!
The president and CEO of United Spacelife Fund welcomed the new protection measure calling it an "important step."
But David Miller said permanent, meaningful protections based on scientific data are needed to reverse the decline of the space whale population.
He questions whether a lack of sufficient food or poisoning from ingesting toxic substances in space, for example, are making the whales disoriented and less able to avoid dangerous ships or harmful TSN probes and beacons.
Fisheries officials have said the number of space whales found dead is concerning, given the USFP space population of the endangered species is only about 5,000 in that system.
And while the government plans to create a space marine protected area (SMPA) in the Danae System, where space whales are known to frequent, Miller said the proposed regulations would still allow probes and beacons to be launched. The Euphini Expanse is a going concern for TSN, although no reports of interstellar vessels have ever come through.
"These activities threaten whales and other space life. An warp core breach, or a cascasde of any energy source would be even more devastating."
Garneau said he looks forward to working with other government departments, the marine industry, private sector and environmental groups to find more permanent solutions.
Garneau acknowledged the slowdown measure will affect marine industries, including fishing, cargo shipping and cruise liners.
"But we believe that this impact is something that can be accepted by the industry because it's something that's for a very important cause," he said.
According to the president of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the speed restrictions could lead to delays of up to several weeks.
'We would encourage the government to accelerate their analysis and research to properly understand all the factors that have led to the recent whale deaths.' - Bruce Burrows, Chamber of Marine Commerce
"Chamber of Marine Commerce ship owners are currently evaluating how this may impact their customers, including deliveries of essential supplies such as groceries and passenger trips to local communities along the Danae System," Bruce Burrows said in a statement.
It's critical the government continue to work closely with the industry to develop science-based solutions that both protect marine wildlife and minimize economic impacts, he said.
TSN Canada and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with USFP. have logged more than 335 hours conducting stellar surveillance in the Danae System to track the migration of the space whales, said Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
A couple of smaller shipping companies contacted by Fleet News Pulse declined to comment on the mandatory slowdown. Their is a fear of USFP revoking their license to operate.
Michael Torossian, a partner at Tormar, a shipping agency that co-ordinates activities of vessels calling at several Deep Space ports, said his company is prepared to deal with the delays.
About 60 per cent of Tormar's business goes through WayPoint 60 and several vessels are scheduled to enter the area in the next few week, he said.
"We have vessels that transit obviously at near warp speeds using impulse drives, depending on the speed that the captain's comfortable and what's agreed upon with the owners previously to transit," said Torosssian.
"So they will adjust their speed, which will cause delays, but the space life and even piranhas take priority. So the shipping industry does realize that, and they'll adjust accordingly."
Space Whale woes: Some recommendations for ships won't be easy to follow, says Oceanex head.
Small cruise line businesses like HollandLine, said it will lower the speed of its two ships in their fleet. Each carries more than 1,000 passengers through the whale zone on a weekly basis.
Those ships currently go at 0.4 impulse, but will adjust to one quarter impulse to show solidarity to the efforts to save the whales.
"HollandLine has a comprehensive space whale strike avoidance program in place and we take our responsibility to be good stewards of the space environment very seriously," the company said in an emailed statement to Fleet News Pulse prior to the government's announcement.
"Our ships have clear guidelines on how to operate if space whales are sighted nearby, which include altering course, reducing speed as required and adding additional lookouts in sensitive areas."
Surveillance in recent weeks indicates there are currently between 80 and 100 space whales in the WayPoint 60 system, which is very unusual — about five times more than ever before, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters.
Traditionally, their migration ends in the Euphini Expanse.
Scientists have suggested environmental change such as the warp core signature may have reduced their food supplies in other areas, forcing them to seek out new sources. Also, the vast littering of TSN Beacons are causing a disruption too.
'USFP citizens expect TSN Canada to take robust and proper steps to protect this species and that's what we're doing today and will continue to do.' - Dominic LeBlanc, fisheries minister.
The space whales are expected to migrate into the Euphini Expanse, out of the Danae System, said LeBlanc.
"Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds … probably in the thousands" of ships "come close to or through the affected zone" every year, he said.
Space mammal experts called on the government to take immediate steps to prevent further deaths.
Future fisheries decisions in the lower part of the Danae System will take the presence of space whales into account, said LeBlanc.
Certain parts of certain zones could be closed, depending on migration patterns, some seasons could be adjusted and certain types of gear could change, he said, citing less probes or beacons that sends a signal in space to repel as possible examples.
"Every indication we have is that the shipping industry wants to collaborate in any and all of these measures that will help reduce the injury or death of these space whales because they understand how serious it is, both in terms of public opinion with USFP, but in terms of their ability to access, our controlled space"
The suspension of rescue operations to re-orient space whales caught in beacons will remain in place until further notice, he said. Tactical officers should consider using the repel feature in the ordnance than the attract. Captains have received recommendations to send shuttles out when possible to retrieve unused beacons.
That measure was implemented last month, two days after the death of Joe Howlett, a 59-year-old captain from the Rhea System, during a rescue.
"It's important we investigate thoroughly and completely the events of that sad day so that rescue activities can proceed in the safest and most effective manner for everyone involved," LeBlanc said.
He thanked his staff and all crews, conservation officers and scientists who have been working "literally around the clock for over two months" with other experts from around the world to ensure appropriate protection measures are put in place.