Transport Canada has fined a small cruise ship $6,000 for going too fast in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The Pearl Mist allegedly violated the federal government's 10-knot speed limit that was put in place in early August to prevent further deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales.​

Eleven whales, of an estimated 500 left, were confirmed dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this summer.

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has promised the government will do what it takes to protect North Atlantic right whales, which in addition to being struck by ships this summer have become entangled in fishing gear.

The federal government previously fined two other vessels for travelling above the speed limit. An owner of a vessel has 30 days to challenge the findings or the amount of the fine.

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has promised the federal government will do what it takes to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. (CBC)

The speed restriction applies to vessels 20 metres or longer and travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.

Fines are determined on a case-by-case basis and range from a minimum of $6,000 to a maximum of $25,000.

"Our government is determined to promote the safe coexistence of ship traffic and the marine environment in the Gulf of St. Lawrence," Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a news release.

"We are committed to ensuring that all vessels respect the temporary speed limit, and we will continue to take all appropriate action to ensure the safety of the whales."

The department, however, would not provide further details on the cruise ship's location in the Gulf of St. Lawrence or when the incident took place.

Garneau hopes forcing ships to slow down will prevent whale deaths1:32