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Recovery Strategy for the Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) in Canadian Pacific Waters
- Responsible Jurisdictions
- Authors / Contributors
- Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement
- Executive Summary
- Recovery Feasibility Summary
- 1. COSEWIC Species Assessement Information
- 2. Species Status Information
- 3. Description of the Species and its Needs
- 4. Threats
- 5. Population and Distribution
- 6. Broad Strategies and Approaches to Recovery
- 7. Critical Habitat Identification
- 8. Additional Information Requirements about the Species
- 9. Measuring Progress
- 10. Statement on Action Plans
- 11. References
- 12. Recovery Team Members
- Appendix A: Effects on the Environment and Other Species
- Appendix B: Record of Cooperation and Consultation
- Appendix C: Threat attributes Terminology
6. Broad Strategies and Approaches to Recovery
- 6.1 Actions Already Completed or Currently Underway
- 6.2 Recovery Planning
- 6.3 Narrative to support Recovery Planning Table
Comprehensive survey data does not exist for this population; however, since 2008 there have been intermittent aerial surveys focusing on Basking Sharks within Canadian Pacific waters. There are boat-based and aerial marine mammal surveys, surveillance flights and trained marine mammal observer vessels within historic Basking Shark habitat, none of which have reported Basking Sharks. Further, since 1996, the groundfish bottom trawl fishery has been monitored intensively (100% observer coverage on all trips), with four records of incidental capture of Basking Sharks identified. Since 2006, all commercial groundfish fisheries have 100% at-sea monitoring6. Historical records, including scientific sources, newspapers, and government records have been examined to develop an understanding of past abundance (COSEWIC 2007; Wallace and Gisborne 2006). Recovery Potential for this population was assessed in which a simulation model was used to evaluate scenarios that span the range of plausible human activities that cause mortality (McFarlane et al. 2009). Records of Basking Shark sightings were collated in 2007, including the four incidental catches noted above (see McFarlane et al. 2009) and a database is being developed in 2010. In 2008, the Basking Shark Sightings Network was launched, with a public awareness campaign ongoing. More details can be found at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/SharkSightings.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada Agency encourage other agencies and organizations to participate in the recovery of the Pacific population of Basking Shark where possible, through the implementation of this recovery strategy. Table 3 summarizes the activities that are recommended to support the recovery goal and population and distribution objectives. The activities implemented by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada Agency will be subject to the availability of funding and other required resources.
|Priority||Threats addressed||Population & Distribution Objectives targeted||Recommended approaches to recovery|
|Broad Strategy: Communication & Outreach|
|Broad Strategy: Scientific Research|
|Broad Strategy: Management|
|Broad Strategy: Monitoring & Inventory|
|Broad Strategy: Coordination of Activities|
|High||Collision with vessels, entanglement||All|
The approaches listed above (Table 3) are essential to the survival of the Pacific population of the Basking Shark. Some of the approaches in Table 3 address potential threats in Canadian Pacific waters that can be acted upon immediately, while others call for action following the identification and assessment of new threats. It is important to note that for a long-lived species such as the Basking Shark, it may take many decades before increases in population can be documented, and even longer before recovery is achieved. It is therefore imperative that the long-term nature of this strategy is recognized in the evaluation of the objectives and supporting strategies.
6 As a condition of licence, all commercial groundfish vessels must have 100% at-sea monitoring. For hook-and-line and trap vessels, this may include either video monitoring or a third-party at-sea observer. For trawl vessels, this includes a third-party at-sea observer.
7 This approach is deemed a low priority at present; however, should an increased population occur, this would be considered a high priority.
8 This approach is deemed a low priority at present; however, should an increased population occur, this would be considered a high priority.
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