Aquatic Species

Browse the list of the most popular aquatic species living in Canadian waters. These species have been classified under eight categories: freshwater, finfish, groundfish, diadromous and pelagic species, invertebrates, marine mammals and molluscs. For each name listed, you will find a description of the species and its habitat.

For more information: Underwater World.

Some of the species listed are Species at RiskThe Species at Risk Act (SARA) protects many aquatic species, including fish, reptiles, marine mammals and molluscs. (Read the Act at the Species at risk Public Registry website.)

And some species are Invasive Species – An aquatic invader is a non-native species whose introduction will likely cause (or has already caused) damage to the host ecosystem, existing species therein, the economy or human well-being.

Aquatic Species of particular interest

  • Coastal Zone of Atlantic Canada: Species Lists ― Species representative of this region.
  • Pacific Salmon ― For thousands of years, the history, economy and culture of Canada’s west coast have been inextricably linked to Pacific salmon.
  • Pacific Region Marine Mammals & Turtles ― Find general information on marine mammals, turtles, information for the public about DFO's role and programs, and news on marine mammal initiatives and programs within the Department. 
  • Seals and Sealing in Canada ― Find facts on seals, including highlights from the Department’s seal hunt management plans.
  • Sharks of Atlantic Canada ― Sharks are marine fishes that can be found throughout the world’s oceans, including the Arctic Ocean. Only 19 shark species reside in Canadian Atlantic waters, five of which are considered to be occasional visitors.