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Proceedings 2016/033

Proceedings of the National Peer Review on the Marine Screening-Level Risk Assessment Protocol for Aquatic Non-Indigenous Species; February 4-6, 2015

Chairperson: Eddy Kennedy
Editor: Danielle Scriven


A national peer-review science advisory process was held to provide science advice on a new marine screening-level risk assessment (SLRA) tool for non-indigenous species (NIS). This process consisted of three parts: Part 1 was held in Montreal, Quebec, from 22-24 November 2011; Part 2 was held in Burlington, Ontario, from 19-21 March 2013; Part 3 (these Proceedings) was held in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography from 4-6 February 2015. The purpose of Part 3 of this process was to address the following three objectives:

  1. to review a new marine screening-level risk assessment tool (CMIST – Canadian Marine Invasive Screening Tool) and optimization methods;
  2. to provide a list of higher-risk non-indigenous invertebrates already introduced and others not reported in three Canadian ecoregions (i.e. Gulf of St. Lawrence, Scotian Shelf, and Strait of Georgia); and
  3. to provide science advice on the suitability of CMIST to classify the level of risk presented by marine non-indigenous species (NIS) in other taxa.

Based on the presentation of two Working Papers, participants at the meeting determined that CMIST is a scientifically defensible and relatively quick SLRA tool to screen and prioritize marine NIS. However, despite general over-parameterization of risk assessment tools, participants agreed that, in part due to the small sample size of the study, optimization of CMIST is not necessary for DFO purposes at this time. Through the use of CMIST and an expert knowledge survey, a list of higher risk marine invertebrates in the three Canadian ecoregions was generated. NIS were scored on their likelihood of invasion and impact of invasion, and these scores were presented in a heat matrix to identify higher risk marine invertebrate species. Further, participants acknowledged that CMIST is a robust tool that likely can be adapted and should be tested as a SLRA tool for taxa other than marine invertebrates. The resulting publications from Part 3 of this process include a CSAS Science Advisory Report (DFO 2015), two Working Papers to be published in the primary literature (Drolet et al. 2015a, 2015bFootnote 1), and these CSAS Proceedings.

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