Quebec Region - aquatic species at risk
A number of aquatic wildlife species found in Quebec's fresh and marine waters are—or are becoming—at risk as a result of human activity (e.g., commercial fishing, industrial activities, urbanization, agriculture, shipping and tourism). These species are critical to the equilibrium and health of freshwater and marine ecosystems and, for that reason, it is essential to protect them. Since its implementation in 2003, the Species at Risk Act has protected several of these species, including the St. Lawrence beluga whale, copper redhorse and leatherback turtle.
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.
Read more about recovering species at risk.
- Booklet on the St. Lawrence beluga for children (PDF, 2MB)
- An Educational Kit for the Observation of Marine Mammals at Risk in the St. Lawrence
Quebec aquatic species at risk
Use the search function to find aquatic species at risk.
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