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Legal Listing of Aquatic Species

3.3 Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Status: Threatened Last Examination by COSEWIC: May 2003

Where the species is found and biology:

Humpback Whales generally follow the coastlines and take advantage of seasonal currents during their migrations. In the
north Pacific, they spend the summer in Alaska and the winter in Hawaii, migrating through Canadian waters twice a year.
Humpback Whales reach sexual maturity at nine years of age. A female normally gives birth to one calf every two years
sometime between January and April.

COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

Heavily reduced by whaling, the North Pacific population seems to have regrown over the last decades, and anecdotal information from British Columbia suggests that numbers are increasing. However, there is considerable population
segregation, and the number of animals that use B.C. waters is probably in the low hundreds. The high-level of feeding
ground fidelity suggests that if animals are exterminated from a particular area it is unlikely that the area will be rapidly
repopulated from other areas. Two extirpated B.C. populations have shown no sign of rescue. Humpbacks are
occasionally entangled in fishing gear in B.C., though the number entangled is not thought to threaten or limit the
population. In summary, humpback whales in B.C. appear to be well below historical numbers and have not returned.

Potential Protective Measures and Impacts:

  • There are currently no planned measures as a result of automatic prohibitions. However, over the longer term, recovery planning may result in management measures that impact on individuals, businesses, and governments.
  • Examples of potential protective measures may include:
  • Restricting fishing to particular areas, certain depths, or limited to certain times of year.
  • Increasing fisheries observers.
  • Developing guidelines for oil and gas development/seismic exploration.
  • Modifying shipping traffic.
  • Establishing strict guidelines for those who wish to carry SARA out research on the species or their critical habitat.
  • Conducting more research on potential threats to the species and the level of impact of various human activities, especially more research.
  • Introducing measures to protect Humpback Whales from disturbance due to whale watching and other human activities.

It should be noted that management measures will be developed through the recovery planning process and implemented after further consultation.

3.4 Benthic Enos Lake Stickleback (Gasterosteus sp.) & Limnetic Enos Lake Stickleback (Gasterosteus sp.) Status: Endangered Last Examination by COSEWIC: November 2002

Where the species is found and biology:

The Enos Lake species pair, which received the bulk of early scientific investigation, may have collapsed to a single hybrid
population. Stickleback species pairs are restricted to lakes with very specific physical and biological characteristics. The
lakes are small, at low elevation, and have highly productive benthic and pelagic areas. Climate is characterised by hot dry
summers and cool wet winters.

COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

These fish are restricted to a single, small lake on Vancouver Island and are experiencing severe decline in numbers due to
deteriorating habitat quality and the introduction of exotics.

Potential Protective Measures and Impacts:

There are currently no planned measures as a result of automatic prohibitions. However, over the longer term, recovery planning may result in management measures and identification of critical habitat that may impact individuals, businesses, and governments.

Examples of potential protective measures may include:

  • Measures to change land and water use activities - These range from the activities of individuals (i.e. gardening, hobby farming, recreation, etc.) to those of commercial entities (i.e. industrial forestry, urban development, farming and ranching, etc.).
  • Measures to control water quality and timing of water flowing into tributaries, aquifers, lakes, and rivers. It should be noted that management measures will be developed through the recovery planning process and implemented after further consultation.