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Recovery Strategy for the Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) in Canadian Pacific Waters

Preface

The Basking Shark is a marine fish and is under the responsibility of the federal government.  The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species. The Pacific population of Basking Shark was listed as Endangered under SARA in February 20101. The development of this recovery strategy was led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Pacific Region with the Parks Canada Agency, which is competent with respect to individuals of the species occurring in or on federal waters administered by the Agency, in cooperation and consultation with many individuals, organizations and government agencies, as indicated below. The strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41).

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency, or any other party alone. This strategy provides advice to jurisdictions and organizations that may be involved or wish to become involved in the recovery of the species. In the spirit of the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of the Environment responsible for Parks Canada Agency invites all responsible jurisdictions and Canadians to join Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Basking Shark and Canadian society as a whole. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency will support implementation of this strategy to the extent possible, given available resources and their overall responsibility for species at risk conservation.

The goals, objectives and recovery approaches identified in the strategy are based on the best existing knowledge and are subject to modifications resulting from new information. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Environment responsible for Parks Canada Agency will report on progress within five years.

This strategy will be complemented by one or more action plans that will provide details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support survival and recovery of the species. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Minister of Environment responsible for Parks Canada Agency will take steps to ensure that, to the extent possible, Canadians interested in or affected by these measures will be consulted.

1 The Basking Shark occurs circumglobally in temperate coastal shelf waters, and exists in Canada as two geographically isolated designatable units – Atlantic and Pacific.  This recovery strategy was developed specifically for the Pacific population of Basking Shark (COSEWIC 2007).