Ontario and Prairie Region - aquatic species at risk
The Ontario and Prairie Region of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) includes Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The purpose of Canada's Species at Risk Act (SARA) is to conserve, protect and recover endangered or threatened species, and to encourage the management of species of special concern to prevent them from becoming further at risk. The Act aims to prevent indigenous species from extirpation or extinction and preserve biodiversity within Canada.
The Species at Risk Management Division provides advice and assistance to other DFO programs (including Fisheries and Aquaculture Management, Fisheries Protection Program, Oceans, Policy, and Science) that implement the regional species at risk program, which includes assessment, consultations, listing, recovery planning and implementation, permitting, and compliance monitoring. In carrying out these activities, aimed at securing the recovery of species at risk, DFO relies on the cooperation of other government agencies, First Nations and other Aboriginal organizations, stakeholders, and the general public.
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is an independent committee of experts, which assesses the status of a species based on the best available information, including scientific data, local ecological information and Aboriginal traditional knowledge. Once aquatic species are assessed, DFO is responsible for making a recommendation to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on whether or not to list the species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). As part of this process, DFO conducts consultations open to all Canadians to determine potential benefits or impacts of listing a species.
Activities include provision of scientific information for COSEWIC assessments, consultations, recovery planning, and compliance monitoring. In carrying out these activities, the program also relies on the cooperation of other government agencies, Aboriginal communities, stakeholders, and the general public.
Consultation is an integral part of SARA. Given that SARA emphasizes and relies on public, First Nations and stakeholder engagement and participation, it is vital that DFO undertakes meaningful consultations with a variety of groups for several aspects of the SARA process.
DFO is guided in its approach to consultation by provisions under the:
Access all species at risk public consultations.
- Watching Recovering Mussels in Ontario’s Ausable River
- Building Better Natural Resource Stewardship in the North
Read more about recovering species at risk.
Ontario and Prairie aquatic species at risk
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