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Vol. 150, No. 35 -- August 27, 2016

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

Statutory authority
Species at Risk Act

Sponsoring department
Department of the Environment

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Order.)

Issues

As a result of emerging and evolving threats and pressures related to human activities, more aquatic wildlife species in Canada face the risk of extirpation or extinction. Such outcomes do not serve the long-term interests of Canadians as each species performs important biological functions within ecosystems and may be of intrinsic, commercial, recreational or societal value to the Canadian public. Threats and pressures can be addressed through conservation and protection measures (e.g. identification and protection of critical habitat, establishment of goals, objectives and approaches to promote species recovery, identification of information gaps, increased public awareness) to ensure healthy aquatic ecosystems for future generations.

Receipt of assessments for species that are not currently on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1) [the List] engages a nine-month legislated timeline (see footnote 1) requiring the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, to render a final decision on whether or not to list a given species under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA or the Act); or refer a species back to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for further information or consideration. If neither of these decisions is taken within the nine-month timeline, then the Minister of the Environment is required by the Species at Risk Act to amend the List in accordance with the COSEWIC assessment.

The GIC has already officially acknowledged receipt of assessments for 15 aquatic species that have been assessed by COSEWIC. This Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) will address these 15 species.

Background

SARA was passed by Parliament in 2002. The purposes of this Act are to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are threatened, endangered or extirpated as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming threatened or endangered.

The Act is a key tool in the ongoing work to protect species at risk. By providing for the protection, survival and recovery of listed wildlife species at risk, SARA is one of the most important tools in the conservation of Canada’s biological diversity. It complements other laws and programs of Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments, and supports the efforts of conservation organizations and partners working to protect Canadian wildlife and habitat.

Wildlife species considered to be at risk in Canada are assessed and classified by COSEWIC, an independent arm’s-length scientific advisory body. COSEWIC bases the species assessments on the best available scientific, community and traditional Aboriginal knowledge. The assessment results trigger the SARA ministerial response process, followed by legal listing and protection decisions by the GIC, upon recommendations from the Minister of the Environment.

SARA provides the following definitions for classifications of wildlife species at risk:

  • Extirpated -- “extirpated species” means a wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the wild;
  • Endangered -- “endangered species” means a wildlife species that is facing imminent extirpation or extinction;
  • Threatened -- “threatened species” means a wildlife species that is likely to become an endangered species if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction; and
  • Special concern -- “species of special concern” means a wildlife species that may become a threatened or an endangered species because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
Prohibitions under SARA

Once an aquatic species is added to the List in SARA as threatened, endangered or extirpated, the general prohibitions under sections 32 and 33 of the Act apply, making it an offence to

  • kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual of a listed species;
  • possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual of a listed species, or any part or derivative of a listed species; and
  • damage or destroy the residence of one or more individuals of a listed species (for species listed as extirpated, this prohibition only applies if a recovery strategy has proposed its reintroduction into the wild in Canada).

Listed species benefit from SARA program funding and required recovery planning. Species listed as threatened, endangered or extirpated require the development of a recovery strategy and the development of one or more action plans. For species listed as threatened or endangered -- or any listed extirpated species if a recovery strategy has recommended the reintroduction of the species into the wild in Canada -- their critical habitat must be protected. Although species listed as special concern are not subject to the prohibitions, there is a requirement under SARA for the development of a management plan, which must include measures for the conservation of the species that the competent minister considers appropriate.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is the competent minister for aquatic species, other than for those individuals found in or on federal lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency, in which case the minister responsible for that Agency (currently the Minister of the Environment) is the competent minister. The Minister of the Environment is responsible for the overall administration of SARA. One of the Minister’s roles under the Act is to provide listing recommendations to the GIC. Before doing so with respect to aquatic species, the Minister of the Environment must consult the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, who provides the Minister of the Environment with listing advice.

In developing listing advice to the Minister of the Environment in relation to each aquatic species, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans considers the following, as appropriate:

  • The purposes of SARA;
  • The species status assessment made by COSEWIC;
  • Other available information regarding the status and threats to the species;
  • The Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk Act Listing Policy and Directive for “Do Not List” Advice;
  • The results of consultations with the public, provinces and territories, appropriate Aboriginal peoples and organizations and wildlife management boards and with any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate;
  • The socio-economic (costs and benefits), biological and corporate impacts; and
  • Where the Minister of the Environment is also a competent minister for the species, the advice of the Minister of the Environment, and the Minister of the Parks Canada Agency is sought.


As per the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk Act Listing Policy and Directive for “Do Not List” Advice, DFO has adopted the Default Listing Position to provide a common and consistent starting point in the consideration of all COSEWIC assessments for aquatic species. According to the Default Listing Position, DFO will advise that the List be amended for a species as classified by COSEWIC, unless DFO can provide a compelling rationale not to do so. The preamble to SARA also recognizes the precautionary principle; that is, where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to a wildlife species, cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for a lack of full scientific certainty. The Default Listing Position is aligned with this principle, as it requires “do not list” advice to be compelling and based on rigorous, structured, comprehensive and transparent analysis.

In cases where a species is not listed under SARA, the decision not to list that species on Schedule 1 (after the receipt of the COSEWIC assessment) means that the prohibitions and the requirement to prepare a recovery strategy under SARA (for species classified as threatened, endangered or extirpated, including the identification and protection of critical habitat [as discussed earlier]) would not apply. Instead, the species would be managed using the existing framework of legislative (e.g. Fisheries Act) and non-legislative (e.g. government programs, actions by non-governmental organizations, industry and Canadians) tools that apply to aquatic species.

Objectives

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has prepared listing advice for the 15 aquatic species received by the GIC. This advice serves as the basis for the Minister of the Environment’s listing recommendations to the GIC. Thirteen of the fifteen species are addressed in the proposed Order Amending Schedule 1 of SARA.

The proposed Order would

  • add nine aquatic species to Schedule 1;
  • reclassify one aquatic species on Schedule 1 from threatened to endangered;
  • remove one species previously listed as a single designatable unit (i.e. a single species) and replace it with two new designatable units on Schedule 1; and
  • remove one species from Schedule 1 that is no longer considered eligible for assessment by COSEWIC.

For the other two species, it is being advised that the Minister of Environment recommend that the GIC not add them to Schedule 1 due to socio-economic reasons. These two species are not included in the proposed Order, but are described in this RIAS for consultative purposes.

Description

The classifications assigned by COSEWIC for the 15 species under consideration in this RIAS are presented in Table 1. The full status reports, including the reasons for each of the 15 species’ classification and each species’ geographic range are available on the Species at Risk Public Registry Web site.

Table 1 -- Classifications of 15 species assessed by COSEWIC and received by the GIC

This table presents the Aquatic species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA (9).
Aquatic species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA (9)
Fish
1. Dolly Varden (Western Arctic populations)Special concern
2. Mountain Sucker (Pacific populations)Special concern
3. Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope populations)Special concern
4. Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations)Threatened
5. Redside DaceEndangered
Marine mammals
6. Harbour Seal (Lac des Loups Marins subspecies)Endangered
7. Beluga Whale (Cumberland Sound population)Threatened
Reptile
8. Loggerhead Sea TurtleEndangered
Mollusc
9. Atlantic Mud-piddockThreatened
This table presents the Aquatic species proposed for reclassification on Schedule 1 (1).
Aquatic species proposed for reclassification on Schedule 1 of SARA (1)
Marine mammals
10. Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population)Endangered
This table presents the Aquatic species where one previously listed species is proposed to be replaced with two new designatable units in Schedule 1 of SARA (2).
Aquatic species where one previously listed species is proposed to be replaced with two new designatable units in Schedule 1 of SARA (2)
Reptiles
11. Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic population)Endangered
12. Leatherback Sea Turtle (Pacific population)Endangered
This table presents the Aquatic species proposed for removing from Schedule 1 of SARA (1).
Aquatic species proposed for removal from Schedule 1 of SARA (1)
Fish
13. Aurora TroutIneligible for assessment
This table presents the Aquatic species for which the proposed advice is that they not be added to Schedule 1 of SARA (2).
Aquatic species for which the proposed advice is that they not be added to Schedule 1 of SARA (2)
Fish
14. Yellowmouth RockfishThreatened
15. Atlantic Bluefin TunaEndangered

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Upon completion of consultations, the Minister of the Environment provides the COSEWIC assessment to the GIC. For those species that are not already on the list (i.e. species 1–9 in the above table labeled “Aquatic species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA”), the GIC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, may

  • (1) accept the assessments and add the species to Schedule 1 of SARA;
  • (2) decide not to add the species to Schedule 1; or
  • (3) refer certain species back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

The first option, to add the species to Schedule 1 of SARA, ensures that the species receives protection in accordance with the provisions of SARA, including, depending on the species’ classification, mandatory recovery planning or the preparation of a management plan.

The second option is not to add the species to Schedule 1. Although the species would neither benefit from protections afforded by SARA (in the case of species assessed as threatened, endangered or extirpated), nor the recovery planning or preparation of a management plan, as required under SARA, the species may already be managed under other federal legislation such as the Fisheries Act as well as provincial or territorial species at risk legislation, where it exists. As discussed above, in accordance with the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk Act Listing Policy and Directive for “Do Not List” Advice, a decision not to list will be supported by a compelling rationale based on a rigorous, structured, comprehensive and transparent analysis of the options, and a description of alternative measures that will be used to manage the species.

The third option is to refer certain species back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. It would be appropriate to refer an assessment back if, for example, significant new information became available after the species had been assessed by COSEWIC.

If the GIC has not taken a decision in response to COSEWIC’s assessments within nine months after acknowledging receipt of these species that are not yet listed, the Minister of the Environment must amend the List in accordance with COSEWIC’s assessments.

Consultation

The 15 aquatic species addressed in this document were assessed by COSEWIC during meetings held between May 2004 and May 2014. Public consultations were conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada following the respective COSEWIC assessments. Consultations were facilitated through online survey, mail-outs, emails, faxes, public notices, public meetings, and consultation documents along with supporting documents that were made available on the Species at Risk Public Registry and other government Web sites. Consultations were conducted with fish harvesters, industry sectors, recreational fishers, Aboriginal groups, environmental organizations, other levels of government and the public. As well, where required under SARA, Environment Canada consulted directly with implicated wildlife management boards. Summaries of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada consultations are outlined below by species.

Rationale

Listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA entails both benefits and costs in terms of social, environmental and economic considerations, through the development of management plans for species listed as species of special concern, and the development of recovery strategies and action plans -- in addition to, among other things, the enforcement of the SARA general prohibitions upon listing -- for species listed as threatened, endangered or extirpated. This document outlines the estimated benefits and costs associated with adding nine species to Schedule 1 of SARA, reclassifying one species on Schedule 1, removing one species from Schedule 1, and striking out one species listed in Schedule 1 of SARA and replacing it with two new designatable units. For consultation purposes, this document also includes the potential benefits and costs associated with two aquatic species for which the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is advising the Minister of the Environment to recommend that the GIC not add these species to Schedule 1.

Benefits

Wildlife, in all its forms, has value in and of itself and is valued by Canadians for aesthetic, cultural, spiritual, recreational, educational, historical, economic, medical, ecological and scientific reasons. The Canadian Biodiversity Strategy was jointly developed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, in response to the Canadian Government’s signing (with support from provincial and territorial governments) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992. SARA also facilitates the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk under which federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for wildlife have committed to a national approach for the protection of species at risk.

When seeking to quantify the economic benefits to society provided by a species, a commonly used framework is the Total Economic Value (TEV). The TEV of a species can be broken down into the following components:

  • Direct Use Value -- refers to the consumptive use of a resource, such as fishing;
  • Indirect Use Value -- includes non-consumptive activities, such as whale watching, which represents recreational value;
  • Option Use Value -- represents the value of preserving a species for future direct and indirect use; and
  • Passive Values (or non-use value) -- include bequest value, which is the value of preserving a species for future generations, and existence value, which represents the altruistic value individuals derive from simply knowing that a given species exists, regardless of potential for any future use.

Collectively, indirect use, option use and passive values are often classified under the umbrella of non-market values (NMV). These are values that lack commercial markets where their value can be directly observed, despite their importance. For species at risk, NMVs are typically an important component of the TEV. When a given species is not readily accessible to society, existence value may be the major or only benefit of that particular species. NMV can be estimated by stated preferences surveys that estimate willingness to pay -- the amount an individual is willing to pay to preserve a species.

Quantitative information is limited regarding Canadians’ willingness to pay for the preservation of species under consideration in this proposed Order. However, studies on other at-risk species indicate Canadians place substantial economic value upon targeted conservation programs, even for species with which they are unfamiliar. Although specific estimates are not available for the species considered here, it is not always necessary to quantify the benefits of protection in order to determine their likely magnitude in comparison to the costs imposed on Canadians. The analyses provided herein use the best available quantitative and qualitative information to assess expected benefits.

The world economy depends on the continued health of natural capital. For some listed aquatic species, protection under SARA can lead to direct and indirect economic benefits in the future as populations recover. Listing species at risk can provide numerous benefits to Canadians beyond direct economic benefits, such as the preservation of essential ecosystem goods and services. Biodiversity is the basis for many ecosystem goods and changes in biodiversity can influence the supply of ecosystem services from which Canadians benefit. Species considered for SARA listing can enhance biodiversity and serve as indicators of environmental quality. These species support the natural function, health and resilience of their ecosystems.

In addition, numerous studies show that Canadians place value on preserving species for future generations to enjoy and place value on knowing the species exist, even if they will never personally see or otherwise enjoy them. Furthermore, the unique characteristics and evolutionary histories of many species at risk make them of special interest to the scientific community.

Costs

The additional or incremental costs of protecting and recovering species in this regulatory impact analysis statement and proposed Order could be borne by several segments of society. For government, major categories of costs attributed to the proposed Order include compliance promotion, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and, in particular, the enforcement of the SARA prohibitions and/or the preparation and implementation of recovery strategies, action plans, or management plans. Additional costs to Canadians may arise from the changes in economic activity that are required to accommodate species protection, for example, reduced harvests or the application of best management practices to preserve habitat or avoid incidental mortality. Costs associated with not listing species under SARA will derive from the application of other means, e.g. the application of the Fisheries Act.

The magnitude of costs borne by affected parties (including industries, individuals and different levels of government) vary and will depend on a combination of some key parameters. These parameters include the classification of the species, the threats to the species, the population size and distribution of the species and economic activities impacting the species, for example

  • For the aquatic species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 as a species of special concern, the automatic prohibitions under sections 32 and 33 of SARA would not apply, so there are no costs to assure compliance with legislated prohibitions. Rather, affected stakeholders may carry minimal costs stemming from the development and implementation of the SARA management plan.
  • No new costs are anticipated with respect to the Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) because this species is already listed on Schedule 1 and is just being revised to a new classification. The prohibitions in sections 32 and 33 of SARA already apply to the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic population) and the Leatherback Sea Turtle (Pacific population) because the Leatherback Sea Turtle is already listed under Schedule 1 and is being amended to recognize two distinct populations. The prohibitions in sections 32 and 33 of SARA will not apply to the Aurora Trout as this species has been designated as ineligible for assessment and is being removed from the List.
  • For the aquatic species added to Schedule 1 under the endangered or threatened classifications, the general prohibitions would be triggered automatically upon listing, and impacts to Canadians could occur. For these species, the impacts are detailed below.

It is anticipated that there will be low incremental costs to stakeholders and Aboriginal groups as a result of this proposed Order, considering the existing federal regulatory mechanisms in place. The federal government may undertake some additional activities associated with compliance promotion and enforcement and will undertake recovery and protection activities. As a result, there will be some incremental costs for the federal government; however, these are expected to be low and would be absorbed through existing funding allocations.

Costs and benefits associated with the proposed listing recommendations are outlined below.

Aquatic species proposed for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA

Special concern -- Dolly Varden (Western Arctic populations), Mountain Sucker (Pacific populations), and Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope populations)

Three species are recommended for addition to Schedule 1 as species of special concern. Listing a species as special concern does not trigger the section 32 or 33 prohibitions under SARA for that species and, therefore, there are no anticipated socio-economic impacts for Canadians and businesses upon listing. However, SARA requires the preparation and implementation of a management plan subsequent to listing species as special concern. The management plan must include measures for the conservation of the species. Listing the species as special concern and the preparation of the management plan may result in increased awareness of the species, which may result in benefits through voluntary changes in activities that pose a threat to the species. While there may be incremental costs and benefits associated with the management plan, these cannot be evaluated until such time as the details of the management measures for the conservation of species are known.

Dolly Varden (Western Arctic populations)

Dolly Varden belongs to the family of salmon and trout-like fishes. Two subspecies are recognized in Canada: the southern form (Pacific populations) and the northern form (Western Arctic populations). The Western Arctic population of Dolly Varden has a very limited range associated with a relatively small number of locations that are necessary for spawning and overwintering in the Arctic. Three of the rivers where the Dolly Varden occur lie within or partially within Ivvavik National Park of Canada: Fish River, Malcolm River and Firth River. A portion of the known overwintering and spawning sites on the Firth River lies within the park. The species is also found in Babbage river which forms the eastern border of Ivvavik National Park. The main threats identified by COSEWIC are low water levels and low groundwater flow, especially at spawning and overwintering grounds, past overharvesting, potential offshore industrial infrastructure that could impede movement of anadromous fish, and terrestrial resource extraction. COSEWIC assessed the Dolly Varden (Western Arctic populations) and classified it as a species of special concern in 2010.

Consultation

An information summary of the species and a comment form were posted on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Pacific Region) consultation Web site from November 4 to December 16, 2011, and again on the Species at Risk Public Registry Web site from January 26 to April 20, 2012. Additionally, the Department sent letters to 18 environmental non-governmental organizations and 5 stakeholders, and 13 First Nations and Renewable Resources Councils received mailed and faxed letters offering them the possibility of a bilateral meeting with the Department. The consultation was advertised in two regional newspapers. DFO consulted directly with the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, the Fisheries Joint Management Committee for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, and gave presentations to two Aboriginal groups directly involved in Dolly Varden management. In April 2015, the federal Minister of the Environment sent letters to the three wildlife management boards affected by the Dolly Varden listing.

Six consultation responses were received by the Department, all of which supported listing the species as special concern. The Government of Yukon expressed support for listing the species, as did the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. No comments were received indicating opposition to listing the species and no response was received from the Government of Northwest Territories.

Benefits and costs

As prohibitions under SARA do not apply to species of special concern, it is anticipated that there would be no socio-economic benefits or costs from listing the Dolly Varden (Western Arctic populations). However, there may be some costs and benefits associated primarily with the implementation of the management plan.

Rationale

Listing the Dolly Varden (Western Arctic populations) as a species of special concern aligns with DFO’s default listing policy. There are no significant socio-economic impacts associated with listing as there is no commercial fishing quota for any Dolly Varden stocks and the existing food, social and ceremonial (FSC) and recreational fisheries could continue. A SARA management plan would be developed, in cooperation with governments, wildlife management boards, Aboriginal organizations and any other organization that the competent minister considers appropriate. The management plan would include measures to promote the conservation of the species, drawing upon information and management measures already identified in the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan.

Mountain Sucker (Pacific populations)

The Mountain Sucker is a small bottom-dwelling freshwater sucker fish found in the western Great Plains and in British Columbia. It is associated with cool waters, higher gradient reaches, and gravel and cobble substrates. The main threats include water availability, climate change, channelization, siltation, impoundments, flow regulation, toxicity (e.g. chemical spills), and exotic species. The Mountain Sucker’s naturally fragmented habitat renders it more susceptible to cumulative effects from a multitude of threats. COSEWIC assessed the Mountain Sucker (Pacific populations) and classified it as a species of special concern in 2010.

Consultation

Consultations were conducted in November and December 2011. Letters were mailed, emailed and faxed to the Province of British Columbia, 15 stakeholder organizations, 20 environmental non-governmental organizations, and 15 First Nations communities and organizations. All letters to First Nations offered the possibility of a bilateral meeting with the Department.

DFO received only two responses on the proposed listing: one from the Province of British Columbia, and one from a First Nations group, both of which supported listing.

Benefits and costs

The Mountain Sucker inhabits river systems that are home to several endangered species that are already listed under SARA and to which the prohibitions under the Act apply. Additional benefits from listing under SARA for this species would not be significant with the exception of the development of the management plan, which may contribute to better management of the species. Minimal incremental costs are expected from listing the species as a result of voluntary actions that may occur subsequent to the implementation of the management plan.

Rationale

Listing the Mountain Sucker (Pacific populations) as a species of special concern aligns with DFO’s default listing policy. It is anticipated that the benefits of listing would be greater than the costs as there are no significant socio-economic impacts associated with listing, as the SARA prohibitions do not apply to species listed as special concern. A SARA management plan would be prepared, in cooperation with governments, Aboriginal organizations and any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate. Moreover, listing is expected to provide increased public awareness and management oversight.

Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope populations)

The Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope populations) is a small, sedentary bottom-dwelling freshwater fish restricted to a small number of locations within the Flathead River basin in southeastern British Columbia. Identified threats include changes in habitat quality due to sedimentation from road construction, maintenance and ATV use and potential resource development such as coal mining, gold mining, road building, railroad extensions, and town site developments. COSEWIC assessed the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope populations) and classified it as a species of special concern in 2010.

Consultation

Consultations were conducted on DFO’s Pacific Region’s consultation Web site from November 8, 2010, to December 17, 2010. Letters were mailed, emailed and faxed to 5 industry organizations, 19 environmental non-governmental organizations, and 9 First Nations communities and organizations. All letters to First Nations offered the possibility of a bilateral meeting with the Department.

Four responses were received: two responses from non-governmental organizations were in support of listing, one response from the Province of British Columbia supported listing, and one response from industry did not support listing. The respondent who opposed listing stated that the Government of British Columbia already prohibits oil, gas and mining activities; therefore, these activities are no longer a threat to the species. DFO responded to the comments made by industry and stated that a disagreement with COSEWIC on the nature of threats was not justification enough for not listing the species or referring the species back to COSEWIC.

Benefits and costs

The Province of British Columbia has taken steps to limit activities in the Flathead Valley, where the species is located. This, combined with other restrictions in place under the Fisheries Act, may limit the socio-economic benefits of listing. Minimal socio-economic costs are expected from listing the species, as a result of voluntary actions after the implementation of the management plan. Moreover, the species is non-commercial and found in a small number of remote locations with limited commercial development potential; no incremental cost impacts are expected, further reducing the likelihood of costs.

Rationale

Listing the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope populations) as a species of special concern aligns with DFO’s default listing policy. It is anticipated that the benefits of listing would be greater than the costs, as there are no significant socio-economic impacts associated with listing this species, since the SARA prohibitions do not apply to species listed as species of special concern. A SARA management plan would be prepared, in cooperation with governments, Aboriginal organizations and any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate. Moreover, listing is expected to provide increased public awareness and management oversight through the development of management plans.

Threatened -- Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations), Beluga Whale (Cumberland Sound population), Atlantic Mud-piddock

Three species are recommended for addition to Schedule 1 as threatened. Sections 32 and 33 of the Act apply with respect to species listed as threatened.

Subsequent to the listing of the species as threatened, SARA also requires the preparation and implementation of a SARA recovery strategy and one or more action plans for the recovery of the species. While there may be incremental costs and benefits associated with the recovery strategies and action plans, these cannot be evaluated until the details are known. In order to complete the cost-benefit analysis, management scenarios that describe probable changes to the requirements for stakeholders (including industry, Government, Canadian consumers and Aboriginal communities) as a result of listing a species as threatened have been evaluated to provide estimates of incremental costs and benefits.

Once a species is listed as threatened, the requirement to identify and protect critical habitat is triggered. The costs and benefits of protecting critical habitat are unknown at this time, as critical habitat has not yet been identified. However, given the federal regulatory mechanisms in place once a species is listed, the protection of critical habitat may not result in further impacts on stakeholders or Aboriginal organizations.

Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations)

The Mountain Sucker is a small freshwater fish with a limited area of occupancy in the Milk River basin of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Its small area of occupancy and small number of locations (eight) make it particularly susceptible to habitat loss and degradation from altered flow regimes and drought that climate change is expected to exacerbate. COSEWIC assessed the Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations) and classified it as threatened in 2010.

Consultation

Online consultations were conducted through the Species at Risk Public Registry from February 28, 2013, to April 30, 2013. Letters were emailed and faxed to 10 First Nations communities and organizations; letters were sent to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan; and public notices were placed in two English daily newspapers, two English weekly newspapers, and one French newspaper.

The Department received seven responses. Two responses were received from the general public that supported the listing of the Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations) as threatened; four responses were received that opposed listing. The Province of Alberta did not approve listing the Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations) as a separate designatable unit in Alberta. The Province considers Mountain Sucker as a province-wide population and, under that criterion, the species is not considered to be an at-risk species. The Province of Saskatchewan does not support listing because it believes adequate protection is already in place under its provincial Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010 and has concerns about the impact that listing would have on stakeholders. Once listed, the Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations) would be added to DFO’s Milk River and St. Mary River action plan, along with two other listed aquatic freshwater species, the Rocky Mountain Sculpin and the Western Silvery Minnow.

One community group opposed listing the species as threatened, stating that the threats to the population are minimal, as an abundance of Mountain Suckers from other parts of the river system, such as the St. Mary River, could repopulate the Milk River population if a catastrophic event occurred. One response from a member of the general public opposed listing, stating that not enough research and monitoring had been done to illustrate evidence of habitat loss or degraded habitat quality, and indicated a perception that the threats to the species are low since the species is receiving indirect ecosystem benefits from other management measures in the area [i.e. those associated with the Western Silvery Minnow and the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Eastslope populations)]. One neutral response was received.

Benefits and costs

The socio-economic benefits and costs are anticipated to be negligible, as prohibitions and restrictions are currently in place under SARA with respect to other co- occurring listed species (the Rocky Mountain Sculpin and the Western Silvery Minnow), and prohibitions are in place under the federal Fisheries Act.

Rationale

Listing the Mountain Sucker (Milk River populations) as threatened aligns with DFO’s default listing policy. There are no significant socio-economic impacts identified with the proposed listing. Upon listing, a recovery strategy and one or more action plans would be developed in cooperation and consultation with governments, Aboriginal organizations and any other person or organization that the competent minister considers appropriate. Listing demonstrates the Fisheries and Oceans Canada commitment to protecting Canada’s species at risk. Also, public awareness of this species would be increased and listing would result in resources being provided to undertake recovery of this species for the enjoyment of future generations of Canadians.

The draft federal action plan for other Milk River species, specifically the Western Silvery Minnow and the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Eastslope populations), in Alberta will be expanded to become the Milk River watershed action plan to accommodate the Mountain Sucker. Listing would increase to three the number of aquatic species that will be protected under SARA in the Milk River watershed in Canada and promote the development of an ecosystembased recovery strategy benefiting these and other species.

Beluga Whale (Cumberland Sound population)

Beluga Whales are toothed whales, pure white in colour, with prominent, rounded foreheads. Their thick skin and lack of dorsal fin are believed to be adaptations to cold, icy waters. The Cumberland Sound population of Beluga Whales is a genetically distinct population found in the Eastern High Arctic of Canada. At the time of assessment, the population was believed to have declined to approximately 1 500 individuals from an historic estimate of over 8 000. Hunting has been regulated since the 1980s, with quotas established for the Inuit subsistence harvest under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Other identified threats to the species include increased small vessel traffic and the associated noise of outboard motors, as well as fishery removals of Greenland halibut, a food for belugas. COSEWIC assessed the Beluga Whale (Cumberland Sound population) and classified it as threatened in 2004.

Consultation

Consultations with stakeholders were initially conducted from 2004 to 2005. Letters with consultation documents were sent out to one Inuit community and three Inuit organizations that had some interest in possible listing. A presentation was made to the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board (NWMB) informing them of the consultation process. Public notices were placed in two Northern newspaper outlets in English, French and Inuktitut. Consultations with local residents and an organization of hunters and trappers included in-person meetings in November 2004 to review the proposed listing of the Cumberland Sound population of Beluga Whales. During these meetings, participants indicated that they did not support the listing based on anecdotal observations of population stability and the perceived sufficiency of existing control measures. Two other comments, one from an environmental non-governmental organization and another from an individual, supported the proposed listing. The NWMB was informed of the results of these consultations in early 2005, but did not take a position on the proposed listing. The Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board was not in support of listing in 2005.

In spring 2006, the federal government formally asked the NWMB whether it supported the proposed listing of Cumberland Sound Belugas. The Board said that it was not able to respond by the deadline set by the federal government because there was not enough time to complete the decision-making process under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement or to conduct a public consideration of the listing decision. In August 2006, the federal government announced that it would not proceed with the proposed listing at that time in order to consult further with the NWMB. Following another round of consultations carried out in 2008 and following the process established under A Memorandum of Understanding to Harmonize the Designation of Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Listing of Wildlife Species at Risk under the Species At Risk Act (Nunavut-Canada MOU for Species at Risk), it was confirmed that the positions of the original participants had not changed. In March 2011, the NWMB indicated that they were still not in support of the proposed listing. In June 2011, the Minister of the Environment acknowledged the position of the NWMB.

Benefits and costs

Listing the Beluga Whale (Cumberland Sound population) as threatened could result in some future benefits, such as the preservation of the species and ecosystem function. The primary stakeholders that could be affected by this listing are the Inuit of Pangnirtung, who regularly harvest the species for subsistence purposes under an existing quota. The Inuit harvest is currently allowed under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Fisheries Act, and could continue to take place under SARA, either pursuant to the exception under subsection 83(3) of SARA for harvesting in accordance with conservation measures under a land claims agreement, or, if the circumstances allow it, pursuant to an exemption under subsection 83(4), where activities can be permitted by a recovery strategy, an action plan or a management plan, as long as they are also authorized under an Act of Parliament. As a result, incremental socio-economic benefits and costs are anticipated to be negligible, as the subsistence harvest, carried out in accordance with conservation measures under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, could continue to occur, and the harvest quota would continue to be determined through the existing Nunavut Land Claims Agreement process, not SARA. There is little other socio-economic activity within the area that would be affected by the prohibitions and restrictions.

Rationale

Recovery of the Beluga Whale (Cumberland Sound population) is more likely to occur as a result of the proposed listing than if the species were not listed. This approach would provide a great degree of predictability and accountability through the creation of a recovery strategy and one or more action plans.

The subsistence harvest of the species occurs in accordance with measures implemented under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The recovery potential assessment for the species allows for the continuation of a properly managed subsistence harvest and the possible issuance of permits under SARA for research or incidental harm, provided, among other things, that these activities do not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. If the survival or recovery of the species is jeopardized, and new allowable harm thresholds are recommended, revised harvest quotas would need to be established in accordance with the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, whether the species is listed or not.

Atlantic Mud-piddock

The Canadian distribution of the Atlantic Mud-piddock, an intertidal marine mollusc, is restricted to a single Canadian population in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia. Disturbances that change the sediment deposition are considered the main threat, including those from increased frequency and severity of storms, erosion from rising sea levels and increased rainfall, and development that alters sedimentation patterns. COSEWIC assessed the Atlantic Mud-piddock and classified it as threatened in 2009 due to the limited available preferred habitat for this species (0.6 km2).

Consultation

Consultations were conducted between August and October 2011. A consultation summary mail-out was sent to targeted stakeholders, including Aboriginal organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, industry, local property owners, municipalities and academics. A consultation summary was posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry and public notices were placed in five regional newspapers.

In total, 11 responses were received. Eight respondents supported or did not indicate an opposition to listing (four responses supported listing and four responses were neutral). Three respondents, namely a tidal energy research center and two property owners, did not support the proposed listing and indicated that they did not agree with the inclusion in the COSEWIC report of tidal power as a potential, but un-quantified, threat to the species.

There are currently no major tidal power activities in the area; however, a pilot project has been approved for the installation of two turbines at demonstration sites in the Minas Channel in 2016. While there is not enough evidence to speculate on whether the future state of tidal power would have an impact on the Atlantic Mud- piddock, there is evidence to suggest that current tidal activities in the area are not negatively affecting the species. It is therefore not anticipated that current tidal activities in the area will be affected by a SARA listing.

Nova Scotia’s Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Department of Natural Resources were asked to provide the provincial position on the potential listing of this species. The consolidated response from the provincial departments indicated that the Province of Nova Scotia supported listing.

During the consultation period, one other provincial department submitted a letter expressing concern that the identification of tidal projects as a potential threat was speculative, and suggested that other available tools, such as the environmental assessment process, could be used to manage threats to this species. Fisheries and Oceans Canada responded to the provincial department’s concerns by informing them that their assessment of the implications of tidal energy extraction of the physical habitat and sedimentation process in the Minas Basin would be considered when finalizing the recommendation for the species.

Benefits and costs

The incremental benefits of mitigating the risks to the species by listing it are anticipated to be negligible. There may be some reduction in potential harm to the species and its habitat as a result of future management measures related to monitoring, education and/or protection that may be undertaken. However, as insufficient information is available at the current time, it is not possible to assess the extent of the potential impact of these management measures.

There could be costs to community groups, governments and industry associated with future management options as a result of listing the species, although it is uncertain what management measures would be adopted in the future. Monitoring the species’ distribution and status as well as implementing public education campaigns have been identified as potential options for future management. If these management options are selected, community groups may bear some or all of the related costs. At this time insufficient detail is available on the potential activities to be able to quantify the associated cost.

It is also possible that additional measures will be required in the future if it is shown that specific industrial projects/facilities could produce a negative impact on the species or its habitat. Insufficient information is available to quantify the incremental costs associated with these measures at present.

Listing the Atlantic Mud-piddock would carry some additional administrative costs for the federal government that cannot be quantified at this time; however, these costs will be managed using existing resources.

Rationale

Available habitat for this species in Canada is extremely limited (0.6 km2), and, due to its sedentary nature, the Atlantic Mud-piddock is highly vulnerable to habitat alterations. Works, undertakings or activities (projects) likely to result in the death of Atlantic Mud-piddock and/or the destruction of its habitat are currently subject to provincial and federal regulatory mechanisms, including the Fisheries Act. The proposed listing of the Atlantic Mud-piddock is intended to support the existing mechanisms that protect this species and its habitat. No population of Atlantic Mud-piddock is protected by endangered species legislation outside of Canadian waters, where it is found sporadically along the eastern and western coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. The Minas Basin population is the northern-most occurrence of Atlantic Mud-piddock in the world, and it likely represents one of the few marine faunal remnants of the post-glacial period in the Maritimes. It may represent marine fauna affected by natural climate change, and thus may be a useful model for monitoring such processes.

Listing the species is not anticipated to result in significant socio-economic impacts for industry, Aboriginal communities or Canadians, as administrative costs to businesses are not expected. There are no industries that currently exploit this species; additional mitigation measures may be required for permits under SARA to allow for activities undertaken by certain industries in the future, if it is shown that specific projects or activities could produce a negative impact on the species or its critical habitat. However, there are no current activities or projects taking place that are anticipated to affect this species. For future projects, existing regulatory review processes would be used to assess and manage potential impacts on the species and ensure that projects are in compliance with SARA.

Endangered -- Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies), Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Redside Dace

Four species are recommended for addition to Schedule 1 as endangered. Sections 32 and 33 of the Act apply with respect to species listed as endangered.

Subsequent to the listing of a species as endangered, SARA requires the development and implementation of a SARA recovery strategy and one or more action plans. While there may be incremental costs and benefits associated with the recovery strategies and action plans, these cannot be evaluated until the details are known. Management scenarios that describe probable changes are evaluated to provide estimates of costs and benefits.

In addition, listing a species as endangered also results in the identification and protection of critical habitat. The costs and benefits of protecting critical habitat are unknown at this time, as critical habitat has not yet been identified. However, given the federal regulatory mechanisms in place (i.e. the Fisheries Act), the protection of critical habitat may not result in further impacts on stakeholders or Aboriginal organizations.

Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies)

The Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies) is a unique Harbour Seal population that lives exclusively in fresh water. This species is found only in Quebec, in a group of lakes and rivers located in Nunavik, about 250 km east of Hudson Bay. Scientists estimate that the Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies) has been isolated from its original marine habitat for 3 000 to 8 000 years. The population has always been small and the exact number of individuals is unknown, but it is estimated to be between 50 and 600. Past hunting activity has been identified as the primary cause for previous population declines. While the species is not the target of a traditional hunt, Aboriginal hunters do opportunistically take an occasional seal (estimated at one individual per year). The low population size and limited geographical distribution of the subspecies increases its vulnerability and limits the recovery potential. Climate change and industrial development (e.g. hydro development) were also identified as potential threats. COSEWIC assessed the Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies) and classified it as endangered in 2007.

Consultation

Consultations were undertaken in 2008–2009. Consultation documents were sent to local councils, hunting associations, Aboriginal organizations, industry and non- governmental organizations. Public notice was provided through four daily newspapers in January 2009 and online public consultations were conducted between December 2008 and March 2009. In-person meetings were held with affected Aboriginal communities and organizations. The majority of respondents consider the Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies) a valuable asset for future generations. Three environmental non- governmental organizations and nine individuals were in favour of listing. The Cree and Inuit communities in the region supported listing, contingent on their still being able to occasionally hunt the animal. A utility company did not support listing this subspecies as endangered, as listing would impact its business activity; however, this comment was made prior to the 2012 creation of the Parc national Tursujuq of Quebec with the intent of excluding future industrial development.

Following consultation meetings and on the advice of the Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Coordinating Committee, a recovery team was formed to develop a draft recovery strategy in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations and the Government of Quebec.

Benefits and costs

The assessment of the potential for recovery for the Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies) concluded that, at its current level, the hunt mentioned earlier does not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species and can continue. However, listing the species would help to protect the population and, therefore, increase the likelihood of maintaining hunting activities and preserving the traditions and culture of Aboriginal communities. Protecting the population would benefit future generations by supporting biodiversity.

As this species is exclusively found in a provincial park where industrial activity, while not entirely restricted, is unlikely to occur, no incremental cost impacts on businesses are expected at this time. In addition, no incremental cost impacts of listing the Lacs des Loups Marins Harbour Seal are anticipated for Canadians, Government or Aboriginal organizations.

Rationale

The small size of the population, and its geographic and genetic isolation, makes the Harbour Seal (Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies) very vulnerable to threats. In terms of biodiversity, it constitutes a very unique subspecies that is only found in a few lakes in Quebec. The Quebec government has listed the population as susceptible to designation as threatened or vulnerable under the province’s Loi sur les espèces menacées ou vulnérables. The risk of extinction for this subspecies is high if threats are not mitigated.

Traditional hunting is not focused on this species. Currently, only a few Aboriginal/First Nations hunters opportunistically hunt a few individuals (about one per year). The recovery potential assessment concluded that, at its current level, this hunt does not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Given this assessment, there is no impact expected on the Aboriginal harvest.

In December 2012, the Province of Quebec and the Kativik Regional Government created the Parc national Tursujuq, the area of which includes the entire area of distribution of the subspecies, i.e. the Nastapoka basin, the Lacs des Loups Marins and the Petit lac des Loups Marins. The establishment of this area as a provincial park should exclude future industrial development.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle is one of six species of hard-shelled marine turtles. In Canadian waters, Loggerhead Sea Turtles are caught as bycatch in some commercial fisheries, particularly by the pelagic longline fleets, but also in bottom and mid-water trawls and gillnets. They are also threatened by the loss and degradation of nesting beaches in the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. Other threats include marine debris, chemical pollution and the illegal harvest of eggs and nesting females. COSEWIC assessed the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and classified it as endangered in 2010 due in part to evidence that the species was in decline globally, including the Northwest Atlantic population, whose juveniles routinely enter and forage in Atlantic Canadian waters. Since the assessment, there has been uncertainty about the current trajectory of the Northwest Atlantic population, and nesting numbers have improved in some locations in recent years.

Consultation

In early 2012, consultation summaries were mailed out to targeted stakeholders, including the fishing industry, environmental non-governmental organizations, provincial and federal governments, academics, First Nations and Aboriginal organizations. The consultation summaries were also posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry between January 17 and March 6, 2012, and public notice was provided through five regional newspapers on January 25, 2012. In May 2012, a consultation meeting was held with an Aboriginal group. In total, 20 consultation responses were received.

No responses were received in opposition to listing. One fishing industry association noted that it supported listing as long as the measures implemented do not exceed those already being required of industry for Leatherback Sea Turtle (listed on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered) and as long as a cost-benefit analysis would be conducted prior to decisions on area closures being taken. The provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador support listing.

Benefits and costs

As a recovery target for Loggerhead Sea Turtles has not been established, there is no information available to determine the extent of the recovery that may occur as a result of listing Loggerhead Sea Turtles under SARA. Therefore, it is not possible to estimate the potential stream of market and non-market benefits associated with such a listing. A review of the literature indicates that Canadians value the preservation and conservation of aquatic species in and of itself. As a result, some level of benefit to Canadians is expected.

It is anticipated that there will be no significant socio- economic costs associated with listing this species under SARA. There is no directed fishery for Loggerhead Sea Turtles, and fisheries with known bycatch of Loggerhead Sea Turtles may be issued a permit or exempted subject to all the conditions under the Act. As a result, no additional management measures beyond those currently committed to or required for Leatherback Sea Turtles are anticipated.

Rationale

Listing the Loggerhead Sea Turtle under SARA is consistent with the approach taken for a similar species, the Leatherback Sea Turtle. It is not anticipated that there will be any incremental economic impacts or administrative costs to business associated with listing this species under SARA. Measures implemented under a listing scenario are likely to be aligned with what is already required of industry due to management and mitigation efforts related to activities that impact the Leatherback Sea Turtle.

Listing will provide an increased level of protection for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle relative to what it receives under current legislation, and the species will benefit from the preparation and implementation of recovery measures. The proposed listing would require the creation of a recovery strategy and one or more action plans. By listing this species under SARA, critical habitat would be identified, and the competent minister would have to ensure that it is legally protected. In addition, through the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for the pelagic longline fisheries, the industry has already agreed to a code of conduct and other voluntary measures to minimize harm to sea turtles.

Listing the Loggerhead Sea Turtle would contribute generally to the protection of biodiversity; this species plays an important role in the ecosystem of its nesting beaches and may play an important role in the marine ecosystem. While mortality in Canadian waters is not the primary threat to this species, listing it as endangered could be an important factor in contributing to the goal of decreasing overall mortality rates. As well, Canadian waters are believed to represent important foraging grounds for juvenile Loggerhead Sea Turtles.

Redside Dace

The Redside Dace is a very small and colourful fish in the carp and minnow family. In Canada, the Redside Dace is only found in Ontario, in tributaries of western Lake Ontario, the Grand River, Lake Huron and the Holland River. It has been lost from 5 of its 24 historic locations, and may be gone from an additional 5 locations, and continuing decline is evident in 8 other locations. The major threats to Redside Dace are habitat alteration and degradation, resulting in changes in water quality and quantity and riparian vegetation, associated with urban development and agricultural activities and the introduction of non-indigenous species. COSEWIC assessed the Redside Dace and classified it as endangered in 2007.

Consultation

In 2007–2008, consultation documents along with letters were sent to 65 First Nations communities and organizations and 34 stakeholders. These stakeholders included 1 academic, 9 non-governmental organizations, 14 municipalities, 9 provincial conservation authorities and 1 recreational organization. As well, public notices were posted in 15 newspapers.

Of the 74 responses, 8 were from First Nations, 23 from stakeholders and 43 from the general public. Stakeholders who responded included recreational fishing organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, a municipality, and conservation authorities. Of the 74 responses received, 67 (about 90%) supported listing the species as endangered under SARA. The Province of Ontario has indicated support of the proposed listing.

Opposition to listing was expressed by an Aboriginal organization, a municipality, a recreational fishery organization and two members of the public. The Aboriginal organization indicated that it felt it could be impacted by a SARA listing. However, this comment was received during consultations that addressed multiple species. No impact is expected from listing for this community, as there are no historical or current records to indicate any food, social or ceremonial harvest associated with the species. The recreational fishery organization was concerned that listing the species could create negative social and economic consequences for recreational fisheries; however, there is no recreational fishery for this species. The municipality and two members of the public expressed concern that listing would add to the cost of infrastructure projects. This impact is expected to be negligible, as restrictions imposed on infrastructure projects that affect Redside Dace habitat are already in place due to this species being listed under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the prohibitions under SARA are not anticipated to result in any additional impacts to the delivery and implementation of infrastructure projects.

Benefits and costs

The incremental socio-economic benefits of listing are anticipated to be negligible, as similar prohibitions and restrictions are currently in place under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the federal Fisheries Act.

Due to the federal and provincial regulatory measures currently in place, the incremental costs are anticipated to be negligible for Canadians, including consumers and First Nations groups, as similar prohibitions and restrictions on the activities of stakeholders that might affect the species are in place. Similarly, impacts to industry are expected to be negligible, as restrictions on the activities of stakeholders (e.g. agriculture, urban development, industrial development and infrastructure) already exist, and no additional restrictions for industry stakeholders are anticipated to be felt as a result of listing this species under SARA.

Rationale

The Redside Dace is found primarily within the densely populated Greater Toronto Area. It is anticipated that the recovery strategy would promote greater awareness and education. Successful stabilization of the Redside Dace populations could serve as a tangible and visible case study for balancing environmental and development concerns.

No significant socio-economic impacts are anticipated, as prohibitions and restrictions related to the species are currently in place under provincial and federal legislation. The scientific assessment of the potential for recovery of Redside Dace provides for some allowable harm, which would allow for the issuance of research or incidental harm permits, providing the underlying activity, among other things, will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

This species is listed under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. Listing it under SARA would be an important step in support of the bilateral agreement between the federal government and Ontario. DFO was an active participant in the development of the recently completed provincial recovery strategy that will be used to support the development of the SARA recovery strategy.

Aquatic species that will be reclassified from threatened to endangered
Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population)

Beluga Whales are toothed whales, pure white in colour, with prominent, rounded foreheads. Their thick skin and lack of dorsal fin are believed to be adaptations to cold, icy waters. The St. Lawrence Estuary population occurs mainly in the St. Lawrence River estuary, with summer concentrations centred on the Saguenay River mouth, extending from Île aux Coudres, about 100 km downstream from Québec, and up the Saguenay River to Saint-Fulgence. A large portion of this area is protected as part of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, including a portion of the Fjord du Saguenay. Since the mid-2000s, the population has shown evidence of major demographic changes, including increased neonate mortality and a decline in the proportion of young individuals in the population. These trends, together with past and ongoing habitat degradation, and projected increases in threats, suggest that the status of this population has worsened and is at considerably greater risk than it was in 2004. Identified threats include, but are not limited to, activities that generate excessive noise pollution (in frequency and intensity) and those that disrupt or destroy features and attributes likely to influence the presence and abundance of prey (quality and quantity of prey, e.g. capelin, Atlantic herring, sand lance, rainbow smelt). COSEWIC assessed the Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) and classified it as threatened in 2004; it was reassessed by COSEWIC and classified as endangered in 2014.

Consultation

Changing the classification of this species under Schedule 1 of SARA from threatened to endangered will not affect the protection already afforded to it under the Act, and will not add any additional burden on stakeholders; therefore, no public consultations were undertaken.

Benefits and costs

The change of classification under Schedule 1 of SARA will not change the prohibitions and protection afforded by SARA because prohibitions and requirements under SARA apply similarly to threatened and endangered species. The Fisheries Act will also continue to apply in the same manner. The benefits that were afforded to the species would continue to be provided. No incremental benefits or costs associated with the reclassification are anticipated for industry, Canadians, Aboriginal organizations, or the Government.

Rationale

Prohibitions and requirements under SARA apply similarly to threatened and endangered species. Thus, there are no economic costs associated with the reclassification under Schedule 1. Reclassifying the Beluga Whale (St. Lawrence Estuary population) from a threatened to an endangered species on Schedule 1 of SARA is in keeping with COSEWIC’s recommendation and DFO’s Default Listing Position.

Aquatic species for which the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans proposes advising that the Minister of the Environment not recommend their addition to Schedule 1 of SARA

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans proposes to advise that the Minister of the Environment recommend to the GIC not to add two aquatic species, the Yellowmouth Rockfish and the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, to Schedule 1 of SARA.

A decision not to list species assessed as threatened or endangered means that the prohibitions and the requirement to prepare a recovery strategy under SARA, including the identification and, later, the protection of critical habitat, would not apply. Alternatively, the species would be managed using other legislative (e.g. Fisheries Act) and non-legislative (e.g. government programs, actions by non-governmental organizations, industry and Canadians) tools.

When advising not to list species under SARA, DFO is guided by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Species at Risk Act Listing Policy and Directive for “Do not List” Advice. Under the “Do Not List” Directive (Annex B), a compelling rationale is provided to support instances where advice is given to the Minister of the Environment to recommend to the GIC not to amend the List as recommended by COSEWIC. The compelling rationale should describe the alternative approach proposed for management of the species; the expected outcome(s) for the species in the absence of listing; and the net benefits to Canadians of a “do not list” decision.

Yellowmouth Rockfish

The Yellowmouth Rockfish is one of 35 rockfish species occurring along Canada’s Pacific coast. Recruitment is highly variable from year to year and there have been no strong recruitment events noted over the past 20 years or so. Surveys indicate that abundance of this species has declined considerably over the past 40 years; between 1996 and 2007 a decrease in the population of 2.5% per year was observed. While more recent surveys designed specifically for groundfish species indicate a current period (five years) of relative stability for this species, it is not clear that the decline has ceased. The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) [2 365 t] for this species has not changed since 2001. As with other rockfish species, this slow- growing, long-lived species is vulnerable to commercial fishing, both directed and incidental. Bottom trawling has also been identified as a threat to the species’ habitat. COSEWIC assessed the Yellowmouth Rockfish and classified it as threatened in April 2010.

Consultation

Listing consultations were conducted online through the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Pacific Region) consultation Web site from March 16, 2011, to April 25, 2012. Letters were mailed, emailed and faxed to 18 environmental non-government organizations, and 88 First Nations communities and organizations. All letters to First Nations offered the possibility of a bilateral meeting with the Department. DFO representatives attended industry meetings on October 11 and 12, 2011, with representatives from 17 groups in attendance.

Consultation feedback was minimal and mixed; four responses were received. Opposition to listing was received from two parties: an individual and the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture. Opposition to listing was based on the understanding that existing conservation and management measures were effective. One party was neutral to listing and one First Nations group was in support of listing.

Benefits and costs

The specific contribution of the Yellowmouth Rockfish in maintaining overall ecosystem health is not known. The socio-economic benefits of listing the Yellowmouth Rockfish would be derived from its potential value in the market place (use value), as well as the values Canadians have for preservation of wildlife species and their associated provision of ecosystem goods and services (indirect and non-use values, including existence and bequest values). The incremental benefits to Canadians from listing are likely small, given the current state of the stock, based on a recent stock assessment. The species is currently managed under the Fisheries Act as part of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Pacific Region) Commercial Groundfish Integration Program. As a fishery, the stock is considered to be in the healthy zone based on Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF) criteria. Under a “do not list” scenario, current management measures would continue.

Listing the Yellowmouth Rockfish as threatened would result in the immediate triggering of the SARA general prohibitions. That is, the Yellowmouth Rockfish could not be retained or sold, resulting in negative impacts on the British Columbia groundfish fishery and the seafood processing industry. The estimated loss in profits is approximately $0.8 million per year over 30 years. Negative impacts on First Nations as a result of listing are not anticipated.

Rationale

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is advising that the Minister of the Environment recommend to the GIC that the Yellowmouth Rockfish not be listed on Schedule 1 of SARA since significant and immediate negative socio- economic impacts to industry from the triggering of the general prohibitions would result if the species were listed, and the incremental benefits would likely be small.

If it is not listed under SARA, the Yellowmouth Rockfish will continue to be managed under the Fisheries Act as part of the integrated groundfish fishery. Current management measures in this fishery include the establishment of individual transferable quotas and TAC provisions guided by scientific advice and the SFF; mandatory 100% at-sea and dockside monitoring; and accountability for all rockfish catch (released and retained).

Since the implementation of the Commercial Groundfish Integration Program in 2006, all reported rockfish catches have remained within the prescribed TAC, and conservation objectives for rockfish have been met. The existing management measures can achieve these conservation outcomes without the increase in costs to industry that would exist should the species be listed as threatened and thus subject to SARA prohibitions.

If the decision is made not to list this species, additional management measures would be recommended to enhance existing mechanisms and would include more frequent updates to stock assessments to enable timely implementation of management measures under the Fisheries Act. As the current harvest is 1% of the current biomass and the Yellowmouth Rockfish is considered to be in the healthy zone of the SFF, no changes to the TAC are proposed at this time; if the population falls below the healthy zone, the TAC would be adjusted according to updated scientific information.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ABT) is a large, migratory pelagic fish. There are two known populations: the eastern Atlantic population and the western Atlantic population. ABT in the western Atlantic population spawn in the Gulf of Mexico, and adults make annual migrations to Atlantic Canadian waters to feed. In Canadian waters, their range extends from Georges Bank off the coast of Nova Scotia to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. They are also found in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The majority of ABT in Canadian waters are part of the western population; however, transatlantic migration is likely, so there is some overlap between the two populations. Occurrence and abundance in Canadian waters vary decadally, possibly due to changes in water conditions or availability of prey.

In 2011 COSEWIC classified the western Atlantic population of ABT as endangered due to a 69% decline in the number of spawning adults over 2.7 generations and concerns with heavy commercial fishery exploitation over the last 40 years. Fishing is identified as the main threat to the species. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was also identified as a concern due to potential impacts on the western Atlantic ABT spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico. While it is too early to determine whether this oil spill has had a significant negative impact, early research and monitoring has not registered any effect on this population. The COSEWIC assessment and status report included data up to 2009. However, since that time, the status of the western stock of ABT has improved significantly.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) may make recommendations designed to maintain the populations of tuna (including ABT) in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas at levels that will permit the maximum sustainable catch. ICCAT has set catch recommendations since the mid-1980s. In 1999, ICCAT adopted a 20-year rebuilding plan for the western stock. In 2008, the TAC for the western stock was set at 2 100 t; in 2011, it was reduced to 1 750 t. Based on the last stock assessment, in 2013, there has been a steady increase in stock size since the rebuilding plan was adopted and the stock size has increased to 55% of the historical 1970 level (see footnote 2) In light of this, ICCAT increased the TAC to 2,000 t for each of 2015 and 2016. The stock will be reassessed in September 2016 with expectation that the TAC will be reviewed again in November 2016.

Consultation

A public consultation period was held from September to December 2012 in Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Consultation documents were sent to 254 potentially impacted groups, including the fishing industry, provincial government departments, and Aboriginal organizations, as well as potentially interested parties (e.g. environmental non-governmental organizations, academics). Public notices advising of the consultation period were published in 17 newspapers throughout the region, and the consultation materials were posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry. Bilateral meetings were held with the Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council, the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Province of Prince Edward Island, and the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs in New Brunswick.

Consultation feedback was almost evenly split between listing and non-listing: DFO received 194 responses, 94 responses in opposition to listing and 100 responses in support of listing. The majority of consultation responses from the general public and conservation groups supported listing the species as endangered under SARA. The option of not listing the species received support from the provinces of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, Aboriginal groups with commercial-communal ABT licences, and the fishing industry (licence holders, associations) that would be impacted by listing the species under SARA.

The main concerns expressed regarding a decision to list ABT centred on the significant socio-economic impacts of closing the fishery, including the spin-off effects this would have on regional communities. Respondents felt that the fishery was well-regulated, and that due to the international nature of the management of the fishery, a closure of the Canadian fishery would result in a reallocation or transfer of the quota to other countries, with no net benefit to the species. They also felt that the data used in the COSEWIC assessment was out of date, and did not reflect new information that suggests that the age of maturity of ABT in the western Atlantic has been overestimated.

Benefits

The closure of the directed ABT commercial fishery in Canadian waters would result in a decrease in ABT landings amounting to the quota allocated to Canada. This reduction in catch could help to increase the spawning stock biomass. The mandatory release of any ABT caught incidentally in any fishery in Atlantic Canada would likely result in an additional reduction in overall human-induced mortality. However, these reductions in catch levels of ABT would help to increase the stock biomass above current levels and would only be realized if other factors, including current allocations and catch levels by other contracting parties to ICCAT, remain constant.

Other potential benefits of listing include maintaining the role that ABT plays in the ecosystem and other non-use values arising due to peoples’ willingness to pay for the conservation of the species for future generations to enjoy or for knowing that the species exists.

Costs

Listing ABT as endangered would result in the immediate application of the SARA general prohibitions, meaning that it would be illegal to kill, harm, harass, capture or take individuals of the species, or to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade individuals of the species (or any part or derivative of such individual), or to destroy the residence of an individual of the species. Commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fisheries would not be allowed to direct for ABT or land it as bycatch, and activities with potential to incidentally harm the species would be required to meet certain conditions to qualify for a permit or exemption. Listing the species and the subsequent prohibition on landing ABT in commercial harvesting, charter boat and Aboriginal commercial-communal fisheries would result in significant socio-economic impacts, the details of which are provided below.

Commercial fishing industry

The closure of the ABT directed commercial fishery along with the loss of incidental ABT catch in the by-catch fisheries would result in a significant socio-economic cost in the range of $6.88 million to $8.72 million per year in lost landed value, with annual profit losses to the commercial fishery in the range of $0.69 million to $2.62 million. These losses would be spread across the seven inshore fleets, the offshore licence holders, and the pelagic longline fleet, and the losses would impact a total of about 640 different licence holders. In addition, fisheries that interact with ABT would likely receive incidental harm permits and would have to complete SARA logbooks and continue to report incidental catches of ABT. There may therefore be some costs associated with the time it takes to fill out the SARA logs. These costs are not quantified at this time; however, they are expected to be minimal.

Hook and release Bluefin Tuna charter boat fishery

Listing ABT as endangered is expected to impact the 57 charter boat operators from Prince Edward Island’s and Gulf Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Bluefin Tuna fleets that participate in the hook and release fishery. This would result in an estimated loss in gross revenue of approximately $1.97 million per year. Due to a lack of data on profit margins for the charter fishery, the loss in profits has not been estimated.

Tuna tournaments

Listing ABT as endangered will impact the three tuna tournaments that currently use a portion of the commercial and scientific quota. Proceeds from the three tournaments are donated to local charities.

All three tournaments are part of multiday festivals that include a number of events and it is not known what the impact of a SARA listing would have on these tournaments, as participants in at least one of these tournaments also fish other tuna species. If these tournaments were to close due to the listing of ABT, there may be a loss of tourism revenue associated with the decrease in Canadian and international visitors and it is possible that the charitable organizations that received proceeds from these tournaments may be impacted.

Processing industry

The elimination of the directed ABT fishery would also impact those involved in post-landing processing and marketing of the species. The number of plants processing ABT is thought to be minimal as most fish are dressed whole fresh for export, mainly to Japan and the United States. However, there may be a number of commercial entities involved in the sale of ABT that is often made by a broker or trader, with the final product sold at an auction, primarily in Japan. Due to a lack of data, the additional impact on these activities is not quantified here.

Canadians/consumers

An Atlantic Bluefin Tuna SARA listing as endangered and the application of the prohibitions would mean, among other things, that the possession and sale of ABT in Canada would be prohibited. It is understood that the majority of ABT landed by Canadian vessels is exported to Japan and the United States and that there is relatively little domestic consumption. Impacts on Canadian consumers are therefore expected to be minimal.

First Nations

If ABT were listed, this action is expected to impact approximately 22 First Nations communal commercial licence holders and 3 other Aboriginal organizations. In addition, other Aboriginal licence holders could also be impacted in the future. The losses in landed value and profits for the Aboriginal stakeholders are not estimated separately; they are included in the total loss figures in the commercial fishing industry.

Impact on government

Impacts on governments include a loss of tax revenue due to a loss in profits/income, loss in commercial fishing licence fee revenue and additional administration costs associated with the SARA listing. It is expected that the administrative costs would be negligible and would be met through funds currently allocated for the implementation of SARA.

Rationale

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is advising the Minister of the Environment that she recommend to the GIC that the ABT not be listed on Schedule 1 of SARA since significant and immediate socio-economic impacts to industry from the application of the general prohibitions would result if the species were listed. In the absence of listing under SARA, ABT will continue to be managed under the Fisheries Act.

Listing the ABT species as endangered under SARA, and the subsequent closure of the directed and by-catch fisheries, including commercial harvesting, charter boat and Aboriginal commercial-communal fisheries, would result in significant socio-economic impacts to industry and to communities in the region, including Aboriginal communities. The non-listing option received support from the majority of the provinces, Aboriginal organizations, and potentially impacted stakeholders who responded during consultations.

As ICCAT recommends the annual total allowable catch (TAC) and allocates it among contracting parties, including Canada, listing the species under SARA is not expected to have a significant positive impact on the species, since the closure of the Canadian fishery could result in ICCAT reallocating or transferring the Canadian quota to other countries, resulting in no net decrease in fishing mortality to ABT.

Since the COSEWIC assessment, the ABT population has continued to increase. Based on the most recent ICCAT assessment, the western stock has been stable or increasing in recent years, and the biomass is projected to continue to increase under current catches (2015 global TAC: 2 000 t).

Under the “do not list” scenario, DFO would continue to manage, under the Fisheries Act, the recommended annual TAC allocated by ICCAT, and would implement a set of management measures to address the needs of the species, in particular through the drafting of an updated Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) that is consistent (to the extent possible) with the national Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SSF); review at-sea observer coverage levels in the fleets that interact with ABT; and review existing monitoring documents and identify necessary amendments or additions to improve data collection in both the directed and incidental-catch fisheries. This may lead to more accurate post-release mortality estimates and may have additional ecological benefits that arise due to increased knowledge of the species and its interaction with the ecosystem.

Aquatic species for which one previously listed species will be replaced with two new populations in the proposed amendment to Schedule 1 of SARA

This Order proposes to amend Schedule 1 by striking out one species currently listed as a single designatable unit (Leatherback Sea Turtle) and adding two new designatable units: Leatherback Sea Turtle (Pacific population) and Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic population).

Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic population and Pacific population)

The Leatherback Sea Turtle is currently listed as endangered under SARA as a single designatable unit. In 2012, COSEWIC reassessed this species and divided it into two designatable units or populations. The official listing process would remove the single designatable unit or population from the list of endangered species under Schedule 1 of SARA and add Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic population) and Leatherback Sea Turtle (Pacific population) to the list of endangered species under Schedule 1 of SARA.

Consultation

No consultations were undertaken as there would be no changes to the protection of the species, nor any changes to impacts on stakeholders, Canadians, industry, First Nations or the Government.

Benefits and costs

It is anticipated that the division of this species into two designatable units (Atlantic population and Pacific population) would not result in any incremental benefits or costs for industry, Canadians, First Nations, and other Aboriginal organizations, or the Government, as the protections that were afforded to the species as one designatable unit would continue to be provided to both population ranges in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Rationale

The rationale behind COSEWIC’s decision to divide the species into two designatable units was provided in the 2012 assessment and status report on the species, and was based on the current understanding that the two populations are discrete and evolutionarily significant. Also, although there is low genetic diversity, the nesting populations are strongly subdivided globally, supporting the existence of separate Pacific and Atlantic populations. In addition, the species is already managed as two designatable units for recovery purposes, with a separate recovery strategy in place for each population.

Aquatic species proposed for removal from Schedule 1 of SARA
Aurora Trout

The Aurora Trout was previously assessed as a designatable unit within the Brook Trout species assessment. In the 1960s, the species was extirpated from its native range of two small lakes north of Sudbury due to lake acidification. The Aurora Trout has been successfully re- established in both lakes to which it was native.

In May 2011, COSEWIC re-examined the status of the Aurora Trout. New genetic and breeding data indicate that the Aurora Trout is not genetically distinct from the Brook Trout. As a result, in 2011, COSEWIC decided that the Aurora Trout was ineligible for assessment.

Consultation

Consultation letters were sent by email in February 2013 to 11 Aboriginal groups and communities within traditional travelling distance to have utilized Aurora Trout for food, social or ceremonial uses. In addition, 9 stakeholders who had expressed interest or previously participated in development of the Aurora Trout recovery strategy were notified.

In total, six responses were received. Four respondents indicated support for delisting, provided that stocking and regulation would not prevent them from fishing for Aurora Trout. The removal of the species from Schedule 1 of SARA would eliminate any related impediments to fishing. Two respondents were opposed to delisting the Aurora Trout, stating that it would undo efforts to rehabilitate the stock and could result in the loss of a unique and vulnerable Canadian species. However, COSEWIC’s determination that the Aurora Trout does not meet the criteria for recognition as a designatable unit distinct from other Brook Trout is based on scientific genetic and breeding information. This information indicates that the species is not genetically distinct from the Brook Trout and therefore is ineligible for assessment by COSEWIC.

Benefits and costs

There are no socio-economic benefits and costs associated with removing the Aurora Trout from Schedule 1 of SARA.

Rationale

Based on the results of the COSEWIC report on the eligibility for the Aurora Trout Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis in Canada, it is proposed that the Aurora Trout is not a distinct species of Brook Trout and should be removed from Schedule 1 of SARA.

Removing the Aurora Trout from Schedule 1 of SARA is consistent with the provincial assessment by the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario, which no longer considers the species eligible to be designated as a species at risk under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. However, the Province has indicated that they will continue to manage the species using the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 through special regulations such as rotating sanctuaries, reduced catch limits and bait restrictions. The Province has also indicated it is currently developing a management plan that will draw on principles consistent with the direction put forth in the Aurora Trout recovery strategy.

Strategic environmental assessment

In accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) concluded that the proposed Order would result in important positive environmental effects. This proposal has direct links with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). The proposed amendments to Schedule I of SARA would support “Theme III: Protecting Nature and Canadians,” of the FSDS. Under Theme III, these amendments would help fulfill “Goal 4: Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems, Wildlife and Habitat, and Protecting Canadians,” and one of its “Targets to Conserve and Restore Ecosystems, Wildlife and Habitat,” namely “Target 4.1 Species at Risk: By 2020, populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans,” and a number of implementation strategies.

“One-for-One” Rule (see footnote 3)

An application of the “One-for-One” Rule and an analysis of potential administrative burden were conducted for each proposed species. The analysis found the “One-for-One” Rule would not be triggered for the proposed Order as it is not anticipated to result in increased administrative burden for business.

Small business lens (see footnote 4)

The small business lens is triggered when a regulatory change imposes over $1 million in annual nationwide costs, or has a disproportionate impact on a few small businesses. It was determined that the proposed amendments would not impose annual nationwide costs over $1 million, nor would they have a disproportionate impact on a few small businesses. As a result, the small business lens would not apply to the proposed amendments.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

If the Order is approved, implementation will include activities designed to encourage compliance with the general prohibitions for the threatened and endangered species.

Recovery of species

Under section 37 of SARA, once an aquatic species is listed on Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is required to prepare a strategy for its recovery. Pursuant to subsection 41(1) of SARA, the recovery strategy must, for those species whose recovery is considered technically and biologically feasible, address threats to the species’ survival, including any loss of habitat. The recovery strategy must also, among other things, describe the broad strategy to address those threats, identify the species’ critical habitat to the extent possible based on the best available information, state the population and distribution objectives that will assist the recovery and survival of the species and identify research and management activities needed to meet the population and distribution objectives. The recovery strategy must also provide a timeline for the completion of one or more action plans.

Under section 47 of SARA, one or more action plans are required to be prepared, based on the recovery strategy, for species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. Pursuant to subsection 49(1) of SARA, action plans must, with respect to the area to which the action plan relates, include, among other things, the following: measures that are to be taken to implement the recovery strategy, including those that address the threats to the species and those that help to achieve the population and distribution objectives for the species and when these are to take place; an identification of the species’ critical habitat, to the extent possible, based on the best available information and consistent with the recovery strategy; examples of activities that would likely result in the destruction of the species’ critical habitat; measures proposed to be taken to protect the critical habitat; and methods to monitor the recovery of the species and its long-term viability. These action plans also require an evaluation of the socioeconomic costs of the action plan and the benefits to be derived from its implementation.

For species listed as species of special concern, the general prohibitions under SARA do not apply. Under section 65 of SARA, management plans are required to be prepared for species listed as species of special concern and their habitat. A management plan must include measures for the conservation of the species that the competent minister considers appropriate.

Recovery and management planning is an opportunity for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together, and to stimulate cooperation and collaboration among a number of partners -- including municipalities, Aboriginal peoples and organizations, and others -- in determining the actions necessary to support the survival, recovery and conservation of listed species.

Compliance promotion

Compliance promotion initiatives are proactive measures that encourage voluntary compliance with the law through education and outreach activities, and raise awareness and understanding of the prohibitions by offering plain language explanations of the legal requirements under the Act. DFO will promote compliance with the general prohibitions of SARA through activities that may include online resources posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry, fact sheets, mail-outs and presentations. These activities will specifically target groups that may be affected by this Order and whose activities could contravene the general prohibitions, including other federal government departments, First Nations, other Aboriginal organizations, private land owners, and recreational and commercial fishers.

As well, with the addition of nine species to Schedule 1 of SARA, there will be some incremental cost implications for Fisheries and Oceans Canada. These costs will be, for example, for training fishery officers and patrolling areas where some of those species are present. The costs are expected to be higher for some species that are present in remote areas where access is limited and threats are more difficult to manage (for example the Cumberland Sound Beluga). The Department will look at the most efficient ways to minimize these costs, which will be managed with existing departmental resources.

Penalties

SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including fines or imprisonment, seizure and forfeiture of things seized or of the proceeds of their disposition. Alternative measures agreements are also available. SARA also provides for inspections and search and seizure powers by enforcement officers designated under SARA. Under the penalty provisions of SARA, a corporation that is not a non-profit corporation and that is found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $300,000. A non-profit corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000, and any other person is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. A corporation that is not a non-profit corporation, found guilty of an indictable offence, is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.

Contact

Julie Stewart
Director
Species at Risk Program Management
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Fax: 613-998-9035
Email: SARA_LEP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of the Species at Risk Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act.

Interested persons may make representations with respect to the proposed Order within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Julie Stewart, Director, Species at Risk Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E6 (fax: 613-993-8607; email: SARA_LEP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca).

Ottawa, August 4, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

Amendments

1 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (see footnote 5) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Mammals”:

Seal Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies, Harbour (Phoca vitulina mellonae)

Phoque commun de la sous-espèce des Lacs des Loups Marins

Whale, Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) St. Lawrence Estuary population

Béluga population de l’estuaire du Saint-Laurent

2 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Reptiles”:

Sea Turtle, Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)

Tortue luth

3 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Reptiles”:

Sea Turtle, Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Atlantic population

Tortue luth population de l’Atlantique

Sea Turtle, Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) Pacific population

Tortue luth population du Pacifique

Sea Turtle, Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Tortue caouanne

4 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Fish”:

Trout, Aurora (Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis)

Omble Aurora

5 Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Fish”:

Dace, Redside (Clinostomus elongatus)

Méné long

6 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by striking out the following under the heading “Mammals”:

Whale, Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) St. Lawrence Estuary population

Béluga population de l’estuaire du Saint-Laurent

7 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Mammals”:

Whale, Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) Cumberland Sound population

Béluga population de la baie Cumberland

8 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Fish”:

Sucker, Mountain (Catostomus platyrhynchus) Milk River populations

Meunier des montagnes populations de la rivière Milk

9 Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Molluscs”:

Atlantic Mud-piddock (Barnea truncata)

Pholade tronquée

10 Part 4 of Schedule 1 to the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading “Fish”:

Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma malma) Western Arctic populations

Dolly Varden populations de l’ouest de l’Arctique

Sculpin, Rocky Mountain (Cottus sp.) Westslope populations

Chabot des montagnes Rocheuses populations du versant ouest

Sucker, Mountain (Catostomus platyrhynchus) Pacific populations

Meunier des montagnes populations du Pacifique

Coming into Force

11 This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.

[35-1-o]

  • Footnote 1
    Please refer to species 1–9 and 14–15 of “Table 1 -- Classifications of 15 species assessed by COSEWIC and received by the GIC,” to which the nine-month timeline applies.
  • Footnote 2
    http://www.iccat.es/Documents/Meetings/Docs/2014-SCRS-REP_ENG.pdf.
  • Footnote 3
    The “One-for-One” Rule requires regulatory changes that increase administrative burden costs to be offset with equal reductions in administrative burden. In addition, ministers are required to remove at least one regulation when they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden costs on business. More information can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/priorities-priorites/rtrap-parfa/ofo-upu-eng.asp.
  • Footnote 4
    The objective of the small business lens is to reduce regulatory costs on small businesses without compromising the health, safety, security and environment of Canadians. More details about the small business lens can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/priorities-priorites/rtrap-parfa/sbl-lpe-eng.asp.
  • Footnote a
    S.C. 2002, c. 29
  • Footnote 5
    S.C. 2002, c. 29