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Terms of Reference

Risk Assessment for ship-mediated introductions of aquatic nonindigenous species to the Great Lakes and the Canadian Arctic

National Capital Region, National Advisory Meeting

March 1-2, 2011
Burlington, Ontario

Chairperson: Nicholas Mandrak


Transport Canada (Marine Safety) is tasked with managing a regulatory program to set ships' procedures to reduce the risk of ship-mediated transfer of invasive species. Current ballast water regulations are being revised and Transport Canada has submitted a formal request to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for science advice on the level of risk posed by the commercial shipping vector to Canadian waters.  DFO’s Centre of Expertise on Aquatic Risk Assessment (CEARA) has developed risk evaluation guidelines that have been used to create risk assessments addressing:

  1. The level of risk posed by ships transiting to, or from, Arctic ports for the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) to Canadian waters;
  2. The level of risk posed by ships operating within the ballast water exchange exemption zones on the East and West Coasts;
  3. The level of risk posed by domestic shipping activities;
  4. If current ballast water management regulations provide sufficient protection against ship-mediated AIS introductions.

Two meetings will be held. This first meeting will address items 1 and 3 for the Great Lakes and Arctic regions. The second meeting will address items 2, and 3 for the East and West coasts, and will address item 4 with a national context.


The objective of the meeting is to collect expert advice on the following aspects of the draft risk assessment documents.

Expected Publications

The National Advisory meeting will generate a proceedings report that summarizes the discussions of the participants. It will be published in the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Proceedings Series on the CSAS website. Advice resulting from the meeting will be published as a Science Advisory Report and the working papers reviewed at the meeting, which provide the support for the advice, will be published as CSAS Research Documents.


DFO Science (six regions), Transport Canada, Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, University of Windsor, University of Chicago, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the shipping industry are invited to participate in this advisory meeting.


Participation to CSAS peer review meetings is by invitation only.

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