April 13, 2010
Quebec Aquarium (La Petite Ourse room), Quebec
In November 2004, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated the striped bass (Morone saxatilis, Walbaum, 1972) population of the St. Lawrence Estuary as extirpated. The disappearance of this striped bass population was reported in the late 1960s. In 2002, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec (MRNF) began a reintroduction strategy in order to establish a new population able to reproduce and sustain itself.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), as the lead department for the Species at Risk Act (SARA) for aquatic species, has begun consultations for adding the striped bass population of the St. Lawrence Estuary to SARA’s list of species at risk. Should striped bass be added to the list, the Act states that Critical Habitat must be identified to the extent possible based on the best information available in the Recovery Strategy for all threatened, endangered or extirpated species. If this Critical Habitat is unknown, the recovery strategy must include a schedule of studies that, when completed, would allow the species’ Critical Habitat to be identified. Once identified in a Recovery Strategy or Action Plan, Critical Habitat will be protected by the provisions of SARA and/or other federal legislations that would destroy the species’ Critical Habitat.
To support, to the extent possible, the designation of critical habitat for striped bass of the St. Lawrence Estuary in the Recovery Strategy, a review of the knowledge on the habitats used by this species prior to its disappearance and since its reintroduction will be presented and discussed at a scientific peer review meeting. This meeting is aimed at assessing the habitat quality and habitat use by the striped bass population of the St. Lawrence Estuary in order to identify important and Critical Habitats for the recovery of the species. In the event the striped bass Critical Habitat as a whole cannot be identified, the gaps in the knowledge necessary to provide full designation of Critical Habitat will be identified.
The objectives of this scientific peer review meeting are as follow:
In order to obtain the necessary information to conduct consultations, recommend the designation of Critical Habitat and begin planning for species recovery, it would be best to meet the following points in providing a Science Advisory Report in support of identifying Critical Habitat (from DFO 2007. DFO Can. Sci. Advis. Sec. Sci. Advis. Rep. 2007/038).
Following the meeting, Proceedings summarizing the exchanges between participants will be prepared. Moreover, the review of knowledge and advice from the meeting will be published as Science advisory Reports. These documents will be published on the website of the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) of DFO.
Experts from the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec