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Proceedings 2011/032

Zonal Advisory Process for the Pre-COSEWIC Assessment of Atlantic, Northern and Spotted Wolffish; September 14-15, 2010

Chairperson: K. Dwyer
Rapporteur: N.D. Templeman


In 2000, COSEWIC assessed Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) as a species of special concern; while northern (Anarhichas denticulatus) and spotted wolffish (Anarhichas minor) were assessed as threatened for the Canadian Atlantic. With proclamation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in June 2003 these wolffish species were the first marine fish in Atlantic Canada to gain protection under this legislation. COSEWIC has called for a re-assessment of the three species of wolffish and DFO, as the department for the management of these species, is required to provide up to date information on the status of the species.

A zonal science peer review meeting was held on September 14-15, 2010 in St. John’s, Newfoundland to peer-review information relevant to the reassessment planned by COSEWIC of the three species of wolffish in Atlantic Canadian waters.

This meeting considered and peer-reviewed DFO information relevant to the COSEWIC status assessment for (Anarhichas lupus), (Anarhichas minor) and (Anarhichas denticulatus) in Canadian waters, considering data related to the status and trends of, and threats to this species inside and outside of Canadian waters, and the strengths and limitations of the information. This review took into consideration the COSEWIC Quantitative Criteria and Guidelines for the Status Assessment of Wildlife Species. The information from this meeting will be made available to COSEWIC, the authors of the status report, and the Co-chairs of the COSEWIC Marine Fish Species Specialist Subcommittee. The meeting included participants from DFO Science, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management, Oceans, Habitat and Species at Risk, and Policy and Economics, as well as the Provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Marine Institute, and the Fisheries, Food and Allied Workers Union.

This proceedings report summarizes the relevant discussions and presents the key conclusions reached at the peer review meeting. This will be published in the CSAS Proceedings Series. There will also be CSAS Research Documents produced in relation to the working papers presented at the workshop.

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