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Legal Listing of Aquatic Species

3.9 Sakinaw Lake Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) Status: Endangered Last Examinationby COSEWIC: May 2003

Where the species is found and biology:

Sakinaw Lake or "Sauchenauch" Lake is located on the Sechelt Peninsula in DFO management Area 16. It is the largest lake on the Sechelt Peninsula. Sakinaw sockeye salmon mature and spawn mainly at age four. Most juveniles rear for one year in alake before migrating to sea

COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

The Sakinaw population has unique genetic and biological characteristics (early river-entry timing, protracted lake residency before spawning, small adult size, low fecundity, large smolts). The lack of success with previous attempts to transplant sockeye to Sakinaw Lake and other lakes suggests that Sakinaw sockeye are irreplaceable. The Sakinaw population has collapsed primarily due to overexploitation, including directed and incidental catches in mixed-stock fisheries, at levels above those that can be sustained. In addition, water flow and water level have at times been insufficient to allow adult fish to enter the lake. There are also ecological impacts on the lake habitat from logging, residential development, and water usage. Because very few fish remain, the population is at high risk of extinction from even minor impacts from fishing, poaching, impediments to spawning migration, predation, habitat degradation, and water usage.

Potential Protective Measures and Impacts:

Stakeholders may be impacted from compliance with automatic prohibitions, development and implementation of a recovery plan, and the identification of critical habitat.

Examples of potential measures to comply with automatic prohibitions and recovery planning objectives may include:

  • First Nations will have the opportunity to take some Fraser sockeye for food, social, and ceremonial purposes (harvest will be less than has been agreed upon in recent years).
  • Recreational harvesters are not likely to be significantly impacted.
  • Reduced commercial fishing opportunities for Fraser sockeye in Johnstone Strait area.
  • Improvements to the local habitat including removal of wood debris from spawning areas.
  • Strategic enhancement including captive brood programs.

These broad ranges of measures have the potential to impact First Nations food, social, and ceremonial fisheries, southern commercial troll, seine and gillnet fisheries, recreational fisheries, other interest groups, and other industries.

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

3.10 Bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) Status: Threatened Last Examination by COSEWIC: November 2002

Where the species is found and biology:

Bocaccio are found in coastal waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Most (British Columbia) catches come from the outer Pacific Coast, with the largest catches coming from the northwest end of Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Sound. Bocaccio have physoclistic swim bladders that can not rapidly accommodate the sudden change in pressure as they are brought to the surface. As a result they will die when captured from waters deeper than 20-30m.

COSEWIC Reason for Designation:

A combination of low recruitment and impact by harvest has resulted in severe declines and low spawning abundance of
this Canadian species. Although Bocaccio meets the criteria for greater than 50% decline in the population to give it anEndangered designation, the sampling was limited to the southern part of the range and therefore was listed as Threatened which is greater than 30% decline in population.

Potential Protective Measures and Impacts:

Stakeholders may be impacted from compliance with automatic prohibitions, development and implementation of a recovery plan, and the identification of critical habitat.

Examples of potential measures to comply with automatic prohibitions and recovery planning objectives may include:

  • Harvest reductions to below recent levels.
  • Fishery restrictions based on changes to current time, area, and gear regulations to meet catch objectives.
  • Increased monitoring of at-sea and landed catches.

Recovery planning will more specifically expand on measures taken to protect bocaccio from harm in general and to protect its critical habitat. Recent reviews of fishery interceptions indicate that the majority of bocaccio are taken in the groundfish trawl and hook and line fisheries; therefore a focus will be on developing protective strategies in those fisheries. However, given the widespread distribution of this species throughout coastal B.C., many fisheries infrequently encounter bocaccio and strategies for these may be required to ensure recovery of the species.

These broad ranges of measures have the potential to impact First Nations food, social, and ceremonial fisheries, commercial groundfish trawl, groundfish hook and line, recreational fisheries, other interest groups, and other industries.

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