On January 11th 2018 Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that the temporary mandatory slowdown for vessels that had been in place since August 11th 2017 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence had been lifted. There have been no sightings of the North Atlantic right whales in the area of the slow-down in recent weeks. The temporary mandatory slow-down was implemented after the unprecedented deaths of 12 right whales during the summer of 2017, some of which were determined to be as a result of ship strikes. Transport Canada issued 13 penalties to vessels for alleged non-compliance during the temporary mandatory slowdown period. The global population of the North Atlantic right whale is approximately 450.