Three more ships have been fined by Transport Canada for breaking speed restrictions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that were put in place to protect endangered right whales.

Two cargo ships and a bulk carrier have been given $6,000 fines.

The speed restrictions were put in place in August after necropsies on right whales found dead in the gulf determined ship strikes were the likely cause. The total population of right whales is about 500, and 16 have been found dead this year, in the gulf and off the U.S. coast.

At least nine vessels have been sanctioned for not adhering to the speed restrictions since they were enacted.

The whales are migratory, and the federal government intends to lift the restrictions once the whales have moved out of the gulf.

With files from Laura Chapin