Canary rockfish

Sebastes pinniger

SARA Status
No Status
NS
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

SARA Status

  • No Status NS
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX
COSEWIC Status
Not at Risk
NR
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

COSEWIC Status

  • Not at Risk NR
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX

Canary rockfish is an aquatic species currently being considered by the Government of Canada for addition to the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Where Canary rockfish live

Canary rockfish are one of 102 species of the genus Sebastes, of which at least 36 species are present in B.C. waters. The orange-yellow fish are comparatively large, with a maximum weight of 5.7 kg. Canary rockfish typically inhabits rocky bottoms at depth of 70-270 metres, from the western Gulf of Alaska south to northern California.

Why are Canary rockfish at risk

Its late maturity (13 years for females), long maximum lifespan (84 years), and long generation time (20-30 years) are characteristic of species that are slow to recover following population decline.

Canary rockfish are a significant economic component of the commercial fisheries on the west coast of Canada, but play a minor role in the recreational fishery, where they are a non-directed species. Catches are small in First Nations’ fisheries, but the species is culturally important.

What's being done

Fishing is the most likely cause of the observed decline in Canary rockfish. However, changes to fish management plans since 1995 are designed to mitigate fishing impacts through such initiatives as 100 per cent at-sea observers, or video monitoring coverage. Landings are currently constrained in the commercial fisheries through a variety of harvest controls, and are well monitored. Catches in the recreational fishery are controlled through bag limits for rockfish. These management measures have reduced the risk that the species will become endangered.

Listing Process

A species is only provided federal legal protection under SARA if it is added to the list of wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1 of the Act). A species will also be provided protection under other federal legislation such as the Fisheries Act, whether it is listed under SARA or not. After the Governor in Council receives the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada’s (COSEWIC) assessment of the species’ population in Canada, it has nine months to decide on whether to:

  1. Accept the assessment and add the species to the list;
  2. Decide not to add the species to the list; or
  3. Refer the current assessment back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration.

If a species is listed in Schedule 1 of the Act as extirpated (extinct in Canada), endangered or threatened, specific protection measures immediately come into effect that prohibit harmful actions against the species. In addition, a recovery strategy must be completed within one year for an endangered species, and within two years for a threatened or extirpated species.

For more information, visit the Species at Risk (SARA) Public Registry Profile.

Canary rockfish

Canary Rockfish

Photo credit: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Scientific name: Sebastes pinniger
Taxonomy: Fishes (marine)
SARA Status: No Status
COSEWIC Status: Threatened (2007)
Region: Pacific

Canary rockfish

Photo credit: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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