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Legal Listing Consultation Workbook for the Atlantic populations of Blue Shark, Shortfin Mako and White Shark

Introductory Information

Species at Risk and You

Scientists estimate that the world’s species are becoming extinct at a rate that is as much as 10,000 times higher than it should naturally be. It’s a staggering statistic and a source of concern for all humans. Although many Canadians understand that species have intrinsic worth, sometimes we forget why the disappearance of a species matters. At the most basic level, species diversity, often referred to as “biodiversity,” is crucial to ensure that life continues on earth. From a human standpoint, biodiversity also supports people’s livelihoods, enables sustainable development and encourages cooperation among nations.

In 2003, the Government of Canada took a major step toward protecting species at risk and their habitats in Canada when it proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). SARA was designed as a key tool for the conservation and protection of biodiversity in Canada. It provides a framework for action across the country to ensure the survival and recovery of wildlife species at risk and the protection of our natural heritage. The law protects those plants and animals that are included on the “List of Wildlife Species at Risk,” sometimes referred to as “Schedule 1” or the “SARA List.”

(For more information on SARA, visit the SARA Public Registry at www.sararegistry.gc.ca)

In order to determine which species should be “listed,” or added to the SARA list of protected species, the Government of Canada consults the general public, with special emphasis on those groups either directly involved with or particularly interested in the species under review. The government makes its decision only after carefully considering the outcome of consultations as well as the potential social and economic implications of listing the species. This consultation workbook is part of the Government’s effort to obtain feedback on whether or not blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark should be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.

Your thoughts on this issue are important and play a crucial role in the listing process. They will be carefully reviewed and considered. Please answer all of the questions in this book to the best of your ability. If you have additional comments, space has been provided for them as well.  To ensure that your responses are considered, please return your completed workbook or any other comments you may have to one of the addresses on page 14 by April 1, 2007. Thank you for your help.

For More Information on Species at Risk in Canada

www.aquaticspeciesatrisk.gc.ca

www.cosewic.gc.ca

www.sararegistry.gc.ca

www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca

Terms You Should Know

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assigns a “status” to each species it considers. The status indicates the degree to which a species is at risk. Considered here are:

Extirpated: A species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the world

Endangered: A species facing imminent extinction or extirpation

Threatened: A species that is likely to become endangered if certain factors affecting it are not addressed

Special Concern: A species with biological characteristics that make it particularly vulnerable to human activity or certain natural phenomena

Other Information You Should Know

How is a Species Listed?

  1. The species is assessed and assigned a status by the COSEWIC. This committee is comprised of specialists working in a variety of relevant fields, such as biology, ecology, and traditional ecological knowledge. They come from government, universities, Aboriginal organizations, and non-governmental organizations, and they are appointed according to their expertise. However they do not represent the agency, group or region from which they are drawn, but must provide impartial scientific recommendations about the species they are considering.
  2. The COSEWIC provides the status report to the Minister of the Environment and the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council, which is comprised of provincial and territorial ministers responsible for the conservation and management of wildlife, in addition to the federal ministers responsible for the administration of SARA (the Minister of the Environment, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans). A copy is also posted on the SARA Public Registry.
  3. The Minister of the Environment indicates how he or she will respond to a COSEWIC assessment in a “Response Statement”. This Response Statement indicates the nature and timing of consultations and is posted on the SARA Public Registry within 90 days of receiving the COSEWIC Assessment.
  4. Consultations are undertaken by the lead federal departments, Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and the information brought forward is analyzed.
  5. Based on advice from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of the Environment must provide the Governor in Council (the Governor General of Canada acting on the advice of Cabinet) with a recommendation to add or not add the species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. In order to make his or her decision, the Minister will take into consideration the COSEWIC’s scientific assessment of the species, the information provided by Canadians obtained through initiatives like this consultation workbook, and the anticipated socio-economic impacts of adding the species to the SARA List. The Minister can offer three possible responses to the COSEWIC assessment.
  1. Accept the COSEWIC assessment and, as it advises, either add the species, reclassify it, or remove it from the SARA List
  2. Determine that the species should not be added to the SARA List
  3. Determine that there is insufficient information to make a decision, and refer the species back to COSEWIC for further consideration

How Does SARA Protect a Species?

Immediately upon a species being added to the SARA List as extirpated, endangered, or threatened, it receives protection under SARA. It is then an offence to:

  • kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual of these listed species
  • possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual, part or derivative of these listed species
  • damage or destroy the residence of one or more individuals of these listed species

The only exceptions to these rules occur when the government issues specific authorizations for: scientific research about the conservation of the species done by a qualified person; an activity that benefits the species or enhances its chances of survival in the wild; or an activity whose effect on the listed species is incidental. In all cases, the activity must not jeopardize survival or recovery.

For species listed as special concern, prohibitions do not apply.

What Happens Next?

After a species is listed, the recovery process begins in an effort to reduce the causes of a species’ decline and to improve the status of the species. There are two parts to the process for extirpated, endangered or threatened species: a recovery strategy, which identifies threats to the species and describes recovery objectives, and an action plan, which details the activities that must be carried out to promote the species’ recovery. The process for species of special concern requires a management plan, which lists appropriate conservation measures for a species and its habitat. All of these documents are developed through extensive consultation with scientists, community members, Aboriginal groups and community stakeholders. Then, the strategies and plans are published in the SARA Public Registry, and the public has 60 days to comment on them. Five years after the plans come into effect, the responsible government minister must report on their implementation and the progress that has been made in meeting the objectives they outlined.

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Blue Shark

Of all the non bottom dwelling (pelagic) sharks in the world, blue sharks Prionace glauca are the most abundant and widely distributed. They are easily identified by their distinctive coloration which is dark blue on top changing to bright blue on the sides and white on the belly and can reach over 3.8 m in length. They also have a characteristic notch at the top of their caudal fin and long sickle-shaped pectoral fins.

Blue sharks are a highly migratory species found around the world including both hemispheres of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Tagging studies in the northwest Atlantic indicate that although blue sharks move across the equator, populations generally appear to be separated by hemisphere. These studies further indicate that blue sharks may migrate in a clockwise direction from west to east across the North Atlantic.

In Atlantic Canadian waters, blue sharks appear to be migrating through our waters in late summer to early fall. Catches have been recorded along the edge of the continental shelf from northeastern Newfoundland, to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Bay of Fundy.

Blue sharks are typically found in the upper layer of offshore waters from the surface to 350 m. Their preference for water temperatures between 10 and 200 C is likely the determining factor for depth and area of distribution.  It also appears that blue sharks are separated by size and sex in the northwest Atlantic, indicated by an absence of mature females off the northeastern United States and Canada.

Blue sharks are considered to be opportunistic feeders, eating a wide variety of prey species including fish, squid, birds and carcasses of marine mammals.

Mating for blue sharks appears to take place outside Canadian waters from spring to early summer with a gestation period of 9 to 12 months. With an average litter size considered to be 25 to 50 every two years, blue sharks are one of the most prolific shark species in the world. Newborn pups are generally between 35 and 60 cm in length. Males reach sexual maturity between 193 and 210 cm while females mature at lengths greater than 185 cm. Age of maturity for both sexes is between 4 and 6 years with a maximum lifespan of between 16 and 20 years. The annual population growth rate for blue shark has been estimated at approximately 43% which, along with the blue sharks large litter size, likely help to slow their population decline despite high catch mortalities.

COSEWIC assessment

COSEWIC provides the following rationale for designating blue shark as special concern (SC):

This species is a relatively productive shark (maximum age 16-20 years, mature at 4-6 years, generation time 8 years, 25-50 pups every two years) but as an elasmobranch, populations are susceptible to increased mortality from all sources including from human activities. The species is considered to have a single highly migratory population in the North Atlantic, of which a portion is present in Canadian waters seasonally. The abundance index which is considered to best represent the whole population has declined 60% 1986-2000 but another index shows no long-term trend for the whole population 1971-2003. Indices of abundance in and near the Canadian waters show variable trends from no decline to 60% decline from the 1980s to early 2000s. There is evidence for a decline in mean length in longline fisheries in Canadian waters 1986-2003. The primary threat is bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries; although the threat is understood and is reversible, it is not being effectively reduced through management. Assessing the impact of bycatch on the population would benefit from better information on proportion of individuals discarded which survive. It appears that recent fishery removals from the North Atlantic have been several tens of thousands of tons annually.  Estimated Canadian removals, a small proportion of the total, have been declining since the early 1990s and recently have averaged around 600 t/yr.

 

Threats to Blue Shark

The COSEWIC status report identifies bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries as the primary threat to blue sharks.  Since effort in these fisheries has increased 10 fold over the last 50 years in the North Atlantic, it is assumed that the bycatch of blue sharks has increased at the same rate. Unfortunately, because of the poor quality of meat, blue sharks are generally discarded at sea although it is estimated that as high as 60% survive being captured. In Canadian waters, however, it is estimated that blue shark catches represent only approximately 1% of their catches world wide.  Current catch mortalities of blue sharks in Atlantic Canadian waters have declined from over 1500 t/yr in the early1990s to less than 1000 t/yr between 1996 and 2002. Finning (the practise of removing and keeping the fins to sell while discarding the carcasses) for blue shark is also considered a source of mortality particularly in international waters. Although the yearly take of blue shark fins is unknown, it is estimated that they make up more than 50% of that market.

 

Protecting Blue Shark

Blue Sharks are managed under the Canadian Atlantic Pelagic Shark Integrated Fisheries Management Plan. Although a directed fishery with a precautionary allocation of 250 t is allowed under this plan, there are no real markets for the meat due to rapid spoilage at sea.  The plan also allows for an unrestricted bycatch of blue sharks in other large pelagic fisheries but requires 100% dockside monitoring of both the directed and bycatch fisheries.  The recreational fishery for blue sharks in Atlantic Canada is “catch and release” only, unless caught during a fishing derby when carcasses may kept for scientific purposes. Finning has been prohibited in all Canadian waters since 1994.

Potential Impacts on Stakeholders

If added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, activities that affect the blue shark or its habitat may receive more scrutiny. While automatic prohibitions do not apply to species of special concern under SARA, a SARA Management Plan will be required and a range of management measures may be implemented to conserve the blue shark population.

These measures may lead to a variety of impacts on stakeholders, including additional costs.  The following list is not exhaustive; please use this consultation workbook as an opportunity to list omissions.

Aboriginal

Management strategies that could affect Aboriginal people fishing for food and social purposes and communal commercial fisheries purposes in areas inhabited by blue shark may be considered.

Fishing Industry

If a particular fishing activity is identified to be a concern for the survival and recovery of a listed species, management measures may be taken to address the concern.  These measures could include increased observer coverage in certain areas, closed areas, gear modifications, or other activities developed in collaboration with industry that willhelp prevent and minimize interactions.

Recreational Users

Restrictions and management measures may be imposed to limit recreational activities that may affect the survival and recovery of blue shark.

Research Activity

Those wishing to carry out research on blue shark or in areas of their habitat may be required to comply with stricter guidelines.  This may limit the type and/or duration of research permitted on blue shark and may lengthen the preparation time required for planning research projects. 

Military Operations

Maritime Forces Atlantic may be asked to prepare guidelines for naval exercises in areas frequented by blue shark. They may be asked to refrain from undertaking specific types of exercises in these areas. As identified in SARA, these requirements would be waived in emergencies or if national security were affected.

Other Activities

Shipping, oil and gas operations and other marine activities may be impacted by listing blue shark under SARA.  However, no specific threats from these or other activities have been identified. 

All proposed marine activities that fall under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) will need to address the impacts on SARA listed species in accordance with this legislation.

References

COSEWIC 2006. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the blue shark (Atlantic population) Prionace glauca in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 46 pp.

(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/showDocument_e.cfm?id=1016)

DFO, 2002. Canadian Atlantic Pelagic Shark Management Plan 2002-2007.

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Shortfin Mako

The shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) is one of five species in the family commonly known as mackerel sharks which includes the great white shark and basking shark. The mako shark is described as spindle shaped, deep blue to purple above and white below, with a conical head, sharply pointed snout and crescent shaped caudal fin. The u-shaped mouth has large sharp teeth that protrude outside of the mouth even when closed. It can reach a maximum length of over 4 m. There are no scientific surveys for shortfin mako conducted in Canadian waters.

Shortfin mako are found around the world from temperate to tropical waters. In the northwest Atlantic they have been found both inshore and offshore, from Bermuda to the Gulf of Maine. In Canadian waters where they are considered at the edge of their range, they have been recorded from the Grand Banks off Newfoundland, along the Scotian Shelf and down to Georges Bank.

Tagging studies indicate that shortfin makos are highly migratory with distribution apparently dependent on water temperatures which they prefer between 17 and 22o C. They migrate to the Atlantic coast of Canada generally in the late summer and fall where they are usually associated with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. They are extremely adaptable and able to withstand significant changes in temperature as well as changes in food availability over its wide range. Shortfin mako feed primarily on other fishes including tuna, mackerel, bluefish and swordfish, but may also eat marine mammals.

Unlike most other sharks, mackerel sharks are able to regulate their body temperatures which the shortfin mako, in particular, maintains at 1 to 10o C above its surrounding water temperature. This allows the shortfin mako (one of the fastest sharks in the world) to sustain its high swimming speeds when migrating through colder, deeper waters.

Females mature at lengths of 2.7 to 3 m and give birth to a litter size of 4 to 25 pups after a gestation period of approximately 15 to 18 months. Pups are approximately 70 cm at birth. Although males mature slightly smaller at 2 to 2.2 m, minimum age of maturity for both sexes is 7 to 8 years. The minimum lifespan has been estimated at 24 years with a maximum life expectancy of up to 45 years.

COSEWIC assessment

COSEWIC provides the following rationale for designating shortfin mako as threatened(TH):

As a large (maximum length 4.2 m), relatively late-maturing (7-8 yrs) pelagic shark, the species has life-history characteristics making it particularly susceptible to mortality from all sources, including human activities.  The species is circumglobal in temperate and tropical waters. Individuals found in Canada are considered part of a larger North Atlantic population. There does not appear to be any reason to assume that the Canadian Atlantic "population" is demographically or genetically independent from the larger Atlantic population, so the status of the species in Atlantic Canada should reflect the status throughout the North Atlantic. Although there is no decline in an indicator of status for the portion of the species that is in Atlantic Canada, two analyses suggest recent declines in the North Atlantic as a whole (40% 1986-2001; 50% 1971-2003). The main causes of the species' decline (mortality due to bycatch in longline and other fisheries) are understood and potentially reversible, but these sources of mortality have not been adequately reduced. 

Threats to Shortfin Mako

COSEWIC has identified fishing and pelagic longlining in particular, as being the most significant threat to the shortfin mako. There are no reliable abundance estimates for this species and the largely unmonitored longlining effort in international waters increases the uncertainty in abundance trends. Studies of bycatch in Atlantic Canadian waters indicate that shortfin mako make up 2 to 3% of the total weight of the pelagic longline fishery for swordfish. Because the meat is highly prized, this bycatch is rarely discarded at sea.

International studies based on American and Japanese longline data indicate catch rate declines of 40 to 50 % for shortfin mako. While these declines have not been observed in Atlantic Canadian waters, preliminary studies do indicate a recent decline in the abundance of larger individuals.

Shortfin makos are also sought after by sport fishers who value them for their “fighting” ability as well as their edible flesh.

Protecting Shortfin Mako

There is no directed fishery for shortfin mako in Atlantic Canada, but it is caught as bycatch in other pelagic fisheries including swordfish, shark and tuna.  Shortfin makos are managed under the Canadian Atlantic Pelagic Shark Integrated Fisheries Management Plan which allows for an unrestricted bycatch along with 100% dockside monitoring. The recreational shark fishery is “catch and release” only except in the case of a fishing derby when carcasses may be kept for scientific purposes. Also, the practise of “finning”, (removing and keeping the fins to sell while discarding the carcasses) has been prohibited in all Canadian waters since 1994.

Potential Impacts on Stakeholders

If added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, shortfin mako will be protected under SARA.  If particular activities are assessed to be a threat to the survival and recovery of a listed species, management measures will be put in place to restrict those activities and ensure the protection of species at risk.

These measures may lead to a variety of impacts on stakeholders, including additional costs.  The following list is not exhaustive; please use this consultation workbook as an opportunity to list any omissions.

Aboriginal

Management strategies that could affect Aboriginal people fishing for food and social purposes and communal commercial fisheries purposes in areas inhabited by shortfin mako sharks may be considered.

Fishing Industry

It is important to fully determine the extent of potential threats to shortfin mako by any fishing activities. Once these species are listed, prohibitions will apply to fishing activities identified to be a threat to their survival and recovery. Some level of bycatch may be allowed for fishing activities that take shortfin mako incidentally, but only if measures are taken to minimize the impact of the activity on these species and the bycatch level will not impede their recovery.  Current SARA legislation however, does not permit this bycatch to be retained.

Military Operations

Maritime Forces Atlantic may be asked to prepare guidelines for naval exercises in areas frequented by shortfin mako. They may be asked to refrain from undertaking specific types of exercises in these areas. As identified in SARA, these requirements would be waived in emergencies or if national security were affected.

Recreational Users

Restrictions and management measures will be imposed to limit recreational activities that may affect the survival and recovery of shortfin mako. The recreational fishery for shortfin mako would not likely continue.

Research Activity

Those wishing to carry out research on shortfin mako or in areas of their habitat will be required to obtain permits and/or comply with strict guidelines.  This may limit the type and/or duration of research permitted on shortfin mako and may lengthen the preparation time required for planning research projects. 

Other Activities

Shipping, oil and gas operations and other marine activities may be impacted by listing shortfin mako under SARA. No specific threats from these or other activities have been identified.  However, if these sharks are listed as suggested by COSEWIC, prohibitions will apply to ALL activities affecting these species.

All proposed marine activities that fall under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) will need to address the impacts on SARA listed species in accordance with this legislation.

References

COSEWIC 2006. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the shortfin mako (Atlantic population) Isurus oxyrinchus in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 24 pp.

(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/showDocument_e.cfm?id=1018).

DFO, 2002. Canadian Atlantic Pelagic Shark Management Plan 2002-2007.

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White Shark

The white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is more commonly referred to as the great white shark and represents the only member of the genus Carcharodon. They have a spindle shaped body which is coloured grey to black above and white below. The color of the iris is distinctly black.  Although the largest captured specimen is between 5 and 5.8 m, there have been reports of white sharks measuring over 7 m. No scientific surveys or studies of this species have been conducted in Canadian waters.

White sharks are found around the world including the northern and tropical waters of both hemispheres. They have been recorded from Newfoundland to Brazil in the western North Atlantic and from the Bering Sea to Mexico in the eastern North Pacific. White sharks are uncommon in Atlantic Canada where they are likely at the northern edge of their range. There are only 32 records of this species either observed or captured in this area since 1874. These records range from off northeast Newfoundland, to the Strait of Belle Isle, the Laurentian Channel, along the Scotian Shelf and into the Bay of Fundy.

White sharks occur in both offshore and inshore areas including bays, harbours and estuaries. While they are found at temperatures from 5 to 270 C and from surface waters to bottom depths of at least 1280 m, their preference appears to be for inshore temperate waters between 14 and 200 C. In Atlantic Canada, they appear more in late summer when the Gulf Stream moves closer inshore.

White sharks are considered to be highly opportunistic feeders, with a wide choice of prey species including boney fishes, skates and rays, and marine mammals along with a variety of invertebrate species, marine birds and reptiles. In Atlantic Canada, white sharks have been recorded feeding on harbour porpoise and grey seals.

Information on the biology of white shark is limited in Canadian waters but data from strandings and bycatch indicate that both mature males and females are present here.  The gestation period is estimated at 14 months with an average litter size of 7 and a maximum of approximately 45 pups during their lifespan.  Pups are large at birth, generally between 1.09 and 1.65 m, which excludes them from being preyed upon by most other marine species.  Males reach sexual maturity between 3.5 and 4.1 m (8 to 10 years). Females mature at lengths between 4 and 5 m (12 to 18 years). The largest white shark recorded in Canadian waters was over 5 m long and weighed 907 kg. They are estimated to live for 23 to 60 years.

COSEWIC assessment

COSEWIC provides the following rationale for designating white shark as endangered (EN):

The species is globally distributed in sub-tropical and temperate waters, but absent from cold polar waters; hence Atlantic and Pacific populations in Canada are isolated from each other and are considered separate designatable units. This very large apex predator is rare in most parts of its range, but particularly so in Canadian waters, which represent the northern fringe of its distribution. There are only 32 records over 132 years for Atlantic Canada. No abundance trend information is available for Atlantic Canada. Numbers have been estimated to have declined by about 80% over 14 years (less than one generation) in areas of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean outside of Canadian waters. The species is highly mobile, and individuals in Atlantic Canada are likely seasonal migrants belonging to a widespread Northwest Atlantic population; hence the status of the Atlantic Canadian population is considered to be the same as that of the broader population. Additional considerations include the long generation time (~23 years) and low reproductive rates (estimated gestation is 14 months and average fecundity is 7 live-born young) of this species, which limit its ability to withstand losses from increase in mortality rates. Bycatch in the pelagic long line fishery is considered to be the primary cause of increased mortality.

Threats to White Shark

Humans have been identified by COSEWIC as the most significant threat to this shark species. White sharks are taken as a sport fish and as bycatch from other pelagic longline fisheries. Their jaws, and teeth are extremely valuable to collectors and the fins are an important item in Asian food and medicine markets. Population studies of white sharks have not been conducted in Canada but with so few occurrences recorded, it is suspected that they are less abundant than in more southerly regions of the United States (US). However, large increases in longlining effort outside of Canada are of concern. The only abundance estimate available is based on longline and tuna fisheries in the southeast US and Caribbean. It indicates a decline of 79% in white shark catch per unit of effort (CPUE).  Abundance trends in other areas of the world are very uncertain.

Protecting White Shark

White sharks are protected globally through several international regulatory policies including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) that attempts to control over exploitation of threatened and endangered species through a licensing system. In Atlantic Canada there is no directed fishery for white sharks. They are occasionally caught as bycatch in other large pelagic fisheries and come under the Canadian Atlantic Pelagic Shark Integrated Fisheries Management Plan which allows for an unrestricted bycatch along with 100% dockside monitoring. The recreational shark fishery is “catch and release” only unless caught in a fishing derby when carcasses may be kept for scientific purposes.

The practise of “finning”, (removing and keeping the fins to sell while discarding the carcasses) has been prohibited in all Canadian waters since 1994.

Potential Impacts on Stakeholders

If added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, white shark will be protected under SARA.  If particular activities are assessed to be a threat to the survival and recovery of a listed species, management measures will be put in place to restrict those activities and ensure the protection of species at risk.

These measures may lead to a variety of impacts on stakeholders, including additional costs.  The following list is not exhaustive; please use this consultation workbook as an opportunity to list any omissions.

Aboriginal

Management strategies that could affect Aboriginal people fishing for food and social purposes and communal commercial fisheries purposes in areas inhabited by white sharks may be considered.

Fishing Industry

It is important to fully determine the extent of potential threats to white sharks by any fishing activities. Once these species are listed, prohibitions will apply to fishing activities identified to be a threat to their survival and recovery. Some level of bycatch may be allowed for fishing activities that take white sharks incidentally, but only if measures are taken to minimize the impact of the activity on these species and the bycatch level will not impede their recovery. Current SARA legislation however, does not permit this bycatch to be retained.

Military Operations

Maritime Forces Atlantic may be asked to prepare guidelines for naval exercises in areas frequented by white sharks. They may be asked to refrain from undertaking specific types of exercises in these areas. As identified in SARA, these requirements would be waived in emergencies or if national security were affected.

Recreational Users

Restrictions and management measures will be imposed to limit recreational activities that may affect the survival and recovery of white shark. The recreational fishery for white shark would not likely continue.

Research Activity

Those wishing to carry out research on white sharks or in areas of their habitat may be required to obtain permits and/or comply with strict guidelines.  This may limit the type and/or duration of research permitted on white sharks and may lengthen the preparation time required for planning research projects. 

Other Activities

Shipping, oil and gas operations and other marine activities may be impacted by listing white shark under SARA.  No specific threats from these or other activities have been identified.  However, if these sharks are listed as suggested by COSEWIC, prohibitions will apply to ALL activities affecting these species.

All proposed marine activities that fall under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) will need to address the impacts on SARA listed species in accordance with this legislation.

References

COSEWIC 2006. COSEWIC assessment and status report on the white shark (Atlantic population) Carcharodon carcharias in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 31 pp.

(www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/showDocument_e.cfm?id=1019)

DFO, 2002. Canadian Atlantic Pelagic Shark Management Plan 2002-2007.

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Consultation Workbook Survey – Blue Shark, Shortfin Mako Shark, and White Shark

The government's decision on whether or not to list a species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) will be based on a full description and understanding of the costs and benefits of the impacts of protection and recovery on individuals, organizations, Aboriginal groups, industries, and Canadian society in general.

This survey form can be used to provide your opinions about listing blue, shortfin mako, and white sharks under the SARA. Comments are welcome from individuals of all backgrounds, whether you are engaged in activities that may be affected by blue shark, shortfin mako, and white shark conservation efforts or are a citizen with an interest in these shark species.

You should read the consultation workbook before completing these questions.

About the Consultation Workbook Survey

The consultation workbook survey asks you to answer a series of questions that require reflection about your views relating to the conservation and recovery of blue, shortfin mako and white sharks. There are a variety of question formats in this survey. There are also opportunities for personal responses to further explain your views. If you would like to keep the introductory sections of this workbook, please feel free to detach this section and return only the survey.

Please return your survey (or any comments you have) by April 1, 2007 to one of the following:

Maritimes Region
Species at Risk Coordination Office
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Box 1006
1 Challenger Drive
Dartmouth, N.S.
B2Y 4A2

Email: xmarsara@mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Toll free: 866-891-0771
Newfoundlandand Labrador Region
SARA Coordinator
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Box5667
St. John’s Newfoundland
A1C 5X1

Email: Osborned@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Fax: 709-772-4583
QuebecRegion
SARA Coordinator
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
P.O. Box 1000, 850 route de la Mer
Mont-Joli, Quebec,
G5H 3Z4

Email: especesperilqc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Fax: 418-775-0542
Toll free: 877-775-0848
Gulf Region
Species at Risk Coordination Office
Gulf Fisheries Centre
P.O. Box 5030
343 Universite Ave.
Moncton, NB  E1C 9B6
Email: GLF-SARA-LEP@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Fax: 506-851-2620

You can also visit http://www.sararegistry.gc.cato download an electronic version of this survey and /or record your comments.

The information that you provide is important! We very much appreciate the time and effort you take to complete this survey!

Your opinions about threats to blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark 

For each factor, please indicate your opinion about how significant a threat each activity is to the following shark species.

You can provide your opinion for any one or all 3 shark species.

Blue Shark (SC)

 Very LowSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Directed fishing by Canadian fishers using pelagic longlines      
Bycatch in other Canadian pelagic longline fisheries (e.g. tuna/swordfish)      
Pelagic longline fisheries in international waters      
Recreational fishing (e.g. sport fishing and derbies)      
Oil & gas operations (exploration, drilling, production etc.)      
Other, please specify;      

 

Shortfin Mako (TH)

 Very LowSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Directed fishing by Canadian fishers using pelagic longlines      
Bycatch in other Canadian pelagic longline fisheries (e.g. tuna/swordfish)      
Pelagic longline fisheries in international waters      
Recreational fishing (e.g. sport fishing and derbies)      
Oil & gas operations (exploration, drilling, production etc.)      
Other, please specify;      

 

White Shark (EN)

 Very LowSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Directed fishing by Canadian fishers using pelagic longlines      
Bycatch in other Canadian pelagic longline fisheries (e.g. tuna/swordfish)      
Pelagic longline fisheries in international waters      
Recreational fishing (e.g. sport fishing and derbies)      
Oil & gas operations (exploration, drilling, production etc.)      
Other, please specify;      

Your opinions about possible interventions to help blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark conservation and recovery

For each factor, please indicate what level of impact you think this measure will have on recovery of blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark.

You can provide your opinion for any one or all 3 shark species.

 

Your opinion about the potential direct or indirect costs of blue shark, shortfin mako and white sharkconservation and recovery

Please choose an option that reflects your rating of the likely economic costs (direct and indirect) of blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark survival and recovery to each industry or group.

You can provide your opinion for any one or all 3 shark species

Blue Shark (SC)

 NegligibleSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Costs to directed shark fishers      
Costs to tuna/swordfish fishers      
Costs to scientific researchers      
Costs to the oil and gas industry      
Costs to my personal household      
Other, please specify;      

 

Shortfin Mako (TH)

 NegligibleSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Costs to directed shark fishers      
Costs to tuna/swordfish fishers      
Costs to scientific researchers      
Costs to the oil and gas industry      
Costs to my personal household      
Other, please specify;      

 

White Shark (EN)

 NegligibleSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Costs to directed shark fishers      
Costs to tuna/swordfish fishers      
Costs to scientific researchers      
Costs to the oil and gas industry      
Costs to my personal household      
Other, please specify;      

Your opinion about the potential benefits of blue shark, shortfin mako and white sharkconservation and recovery to Canadian society 

Please choose an option that reflects your rating of the likely benefits (economic or social) of blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark conservation and recovery to each industry or segment of society.

You can provide your opinion for any one or all 3 shark species.

Blue Shark (SC)

 NegligibleSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Benefits to maritime coastal communities      
Benefits to Canadian society as a whole      
Benefits to Aboriginal groups      
Benefits to the scientific community      
Other, please specify;      

 

Shortfin Mako (TH)

 NegligibleSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Benefits to maritime coastal communities      
Benefits to Canadian society as a whole      
Benefits to Aboriginal groups      
Benefits to the scientific community      
Other, please specify;      

 

White Shark (EN)

 NegligibleSomewhat LowModerateSomewhat HighVery HighI have no opinion on this factor
Benefits to maritime coastal communities      
Benefits to Canadian society as a whole      
Benefits to Aboriginal groups      
Benefits to the scientific community      
Other, please specify;      

 

Your opinion about other potential benefits of blue shark, shortfin mako and white sharkconservation and recovery

Please choose an option that reflects your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statements.

You can provide your opinion for any one or all 3 shark species.

Blue Shark (SC)

 Strongly DisagreeSomewhat DisagreeNeither Agree Nor DisagreeSomewhat AgreeStrongly AgreeI have no opinion on this factor
I think that blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark are valuable because they play an important role in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.      
I think that the blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark will be valuable to future generations.      
I think that many people in Canada value blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark even though they may never personally see any.      
Other, please specify;      

 

Shortfin Mako (TH)

 Strongly DisagreeSomewhat DisagreeNeither Agree Nor DisagreeSomewhat AgreeStrongly AgreeI have no opinion on this factor
I think that blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark are valuable because they play an important role in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.      
I think that the blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark will be valuable to future generations.      
I think that many people in Canada value blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark even though they may never personally see any.      
Other, please specify;      

 

White Shark (EN)

 Strongly DisagreeSomewhat DisagreeNeither Agree Nor DisagreeSomewhat AgreeStrongly AgreeI have no opinion on this factor
I think that blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark are valuable because they play an important role in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.      
I think that the blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark will be valuable to future generations.      
I think that many people in Canada value blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark even though they may never personally see any.      
Other, please specify;      

Comments about the proposed listing status of blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark conservation

 YES NO
Have you read the COSEWIC status reports for blue shark?  
Have you read the COSEWIC status reports for shortfin mako?  
Have you read the COSEWIC status reports for white shark?  

Please choose an option that reflects your level of support for the Government of Canada listing blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act.

 Blue Shark (SC)Shortfin Mako (TH)White Shark (EN)
I Strongly Disagree with listing   
I Somewhat Disagree with listing   
I Neither Agree nor Disagree with listing   
I Somewhat Agree with listing   
I Strongly Agree with listing   

General Questions

1. Could you please tell us why you agree ordisagree with listing blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act?

2.   If a legal listing will affect your activities, do you see these effects as a cost or benefit to you? In what way? Please consider social costs and benefits as well as economic costs and benefits.

2a.  If you see these effects as a cost, are there steps that your sector could take to reduce these costs? If so, please explain.

2b.  Do you expect that the costs or benefits of listing these sharks will change over time? How?

3.  In the event that blue shark, shortfin mako and white shark are listed, how can you as an individual, or your industry or organization as a group, participate in the recovery of the species? Give examples of particular activities, if you can.

4.  Do you think that recovery (for shortfin mako and white sharks) and management (for blue shark) can be achieved without adding these species to the SARA list? Please explain.

Background information about you

What is Your Age Category?

□  < 20 Years□  50-59 Years
□  20-29 Years□  60-69 Years
□  30-39 Years□ > 70 Years 
□  40-49 Years 

What is Your Gender?

□  Male□  Female

In which sector are you employed?

□  Retired□  Private Sector – Other
□  Full-Time Homemaker□  Academic
□  Student□  Federal Government
□  Commercial Fishing/Processing□  Provincial Government
□  Farming□  Municipal Government
□  Forestry□  Non-Governmental Organization
□  Oil and Gas□  I am Between Jobs
□  Professional Services□  I am Employed in another Field

Where do you live?

□  Nova Scotia□  Quebec
□  New Brunswick□  Ontario
□  Prince Edward Island□  Outside Canada but I am a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
□  Newfoundland and Labrador□  Outside Canada - I am not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
□  Western Canada or Territories□ 

If you are directly involved in fishing activities, in what NAFO areas do you fish

□  3KLMN□  4T
□  3OP□  4VW
□  4R□  4X/5Y
□  4S□  5Z

If you are completing this workbook as a representative of an organization, please indicate your name, the name of your organization and a contact address.

 

You've now finished the survey – thank you very much for your help

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