Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

April 07, 2006 13:00 ET

DFO: Northern Bottlenose Whale 'Scotian Shelf' and Channel Darter Protected Under the Species at Risk Act

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 7, 2006) - The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that two aquatic species will be added to the list of species protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The Northern bottlenose whale (Scotian Shelf) and the channel darter will be listed under SARA, bringing the total number of species protected under the Act to 347.

"The government looked at each species very carefully when deciding whether to list it under SARA," said Minister Hearn. "These decisions have real impacts on Canadians and it's critical that we consider all of the information, including scientific assessments, Aboriginal traditional knowledge, the feedback we received from thousands of Canadians, as well as the social and economic impacts of listing these species."

The Northern bottlenose whale (Scotian Shelf) and the channel darter were part of a larger group of 12 aquatic species which underwent an extended period of consultation while under consideration for addition to SARA.

Four species will not be listed under SARA, including three populations of Atlantic cod (Newfoundland & Labrador, Laurentian North and Maritimes). Comprehensive recovery plans for cod will be completed and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will continue to pursue strong conservation measures with the provinces, fishers and key stakeholders.

Following the public posting of the recommendations, a decision was also made to not list Interior Fraser River coho salmon under SARA. Extensive protection measures are already in place and will be continued under the Fisheries Act. Although Interior Fraser River coho remains a concern, the department is confident that it has the tools to rebuild the species.

Six species' assessments will be returned to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for further information or consideration, including Atlantic cod (Arctic population), cusk, bocaccio, harbour porpoise (NW Atlantic population), Lake Winnipeg physa, and shortjaw cisco.

More information regarding the Species at Risk Act is available on the SARA Public Registry at Information on aquatic species at risk is available at

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sophie Galarneau
    Manager, Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Steve Outhouse, Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    (613) 992-3474