January 30, 2008
Chair: Becky Cudmore
Many of the science issues facing Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) are associated with significant knowledge gaps and uncertainties. This, however, does not relieve the department of the need to make decisions on these issues. Under these conditions, decisions must balance the risks and uncertainties while ensuring the sustainability of Canada’s aquatic ecosystems. Risk assessment is the process of estimating the risk presented by a hazard, in either qualitative or quantitative terms, to aquatic ecosystems, fisheries resources, fish habitat, and aquaculture that DFO is mandated to manage and protect. DFO currently faces hazards from aquatic invasive species (AIS), climate change, and fish habitat alteration, with the potential for any or all of these hazards to impact species at risk (SAR), biodiversity, aquaculture, or fisheries resources. AIS are now considered one of the lead threats to native biodiversity (Sala et al. 2000, Dextrase and Mandrak 2006).
The National Code on Introductions and Transfers of Aquatic Organisms identifies risk assessment as central to the process of assessing proposals to move aquatic organisms. The Canadian Action Plan to Address the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species identifies risk assessment as one of the implementation strategies to deal with the threat of AIS. By forming the Centre of Expertise for Aquatic Risk Assessment (CEARA), DFO has taken the first steps toward developing the necessary expertise in risk assessment across the country, building on expertise developed in Burlington at the Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. To this end, one of the mandates and objectives of CEARA is to coordinate and advise on biological risk assessments conducted on priority aquatic invasive species of concern. One of these species is the bloody red shrimp, Hemimysis anomala, an AIS first identified in the Great Lakes in 2006 (Pothoven et al. 2007). A national risk assessment has been drafted for Hemimysis for Canada. The purpose of this peer review is to gather experts on mysids, aquatic invasive species or risk assessment to discuss and provide comments on the draft risk assessment in a face to face forum.
The objective for this workshop is:
1. to peer review the draft national risk assessment for Hemimysis following the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) peer review process.
The workshop will generate a proceedings report summarizing the discussion and decisions of the participants. This will be published as part of the CSAS Proceedings Series. The finalized national risk assessment for Hemimysis will be documented as science advice via the CSAS Series.
Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington, ON, 30 January 2008
Participants (approx. 25-30) will include the CEARA Directorate, Hemimysis risk assessment team and individuals (from within and outside DFO Science) with relevant expertise in mysids or invertebrate invasive species.
• January 2008 – biological synopsis, draft risk assessment and final agenda provided to workshop participants
• 30 January 2008 – peer review
• March 2008 – risk assessment finalized and submitted to CEARA and CSAS
• Spring 2008 – proceedings circulated to workshop participants for review
• Summer 2008 – proceedings finalized and submitted to CSAS.
Dextrase, A. and N.E. Mandrak. 2006. Impacts of invasive alien species on freshwater fauna at risk in Canada. Biological Invasions 8: 13-24.
Pothoven, S. A., I. A. Grigorovich, G. L. Fahenstiel and M. D. Balcer. 2007. Introduction of the Ponto-Caspian bloody-red Mysid Hemimysis anomala into the Lake Michigan basin. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33: 285-292.
Sala, O. and 18 others. 2000. Biodiversity-global diversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287: 1770-1774.