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Impacts on Stakeholders

This consultation workbook was developed to help us better understand the impacts on stakeholders of legally listing the Harbour Porpoise as a species of Special Concern.  Based on the COSEWIC assessment and a review of activities in the area, we have described below how some stakeholders may be impacted.  These descriptions are intended to assist you in filling out the questionnaire on pages 16-18. Please note that SARA was designed to take a cooperative approach to the recovery of species and further consultation with regulators and stakeholders will be taken on any future management actions, should the species be added to the legal list.

We urge all interested parties to answer all of the questions to help us better understand what impacts the addition of the species to the SARA legal list will have.  If you are not included in the list of stakeholders below, it is still important for you to complete the questions so that DFO can gain a better understanding of impacts.

Aboriginal Peoples

Aboriginal peoples will be consulted on the development of a management plan for Harbour Porpoise.  Management strategies may be considered that could affect aboriginal peoples fishing with gillnets, or deploying Acoustical Harassment Devices at aquaculture sites.  The harvest of Harbour Porpoise for cultural or ceremonial purposes may require reassessment.

Fishing Industry

The fishing industry will be consulted on the development of a management plan for Harbour Porpoise in hopes that collectively a regime can be implemented to address the bycatch of Harbour Porpoise.  Mitigation measures such as the use of acoustic alarms and acoustically modified gillnets as researched in the Bay of Fundy  may be considered.  In addition, other modifications of fishing gear, increased observer coverage in certain areas, and/or avoidance of identified known areas during periods of Harbour Porpoise present can be considered.

The simplest way to prevent the majority of Harbour Porpoise bycatch deaths would be to limit the overlap in time and space of Harbour Porpoise and gillnets.  While this could represent a significant change in gear use it may indirectly benefit the industry in the long-term.  A more ecologically friendly fishery would be more sustainable.  As market place ecological awareness and concerns increase, a fishery that reduces unwanted bycatch would have a competitive advantage.

Aquaculture Industry

Restrictions may be placed on the use of Acoustic Harassment Devices (AHDs).  Suchrestrictions may range from time and area restrictions to time and area bans.

Oil and gas Industry

Certain oil and gas activities may be excluded from areas of known Harbour Porpoise use or may be excluded at certain times of year.  Guidelines for seismic exploration may be developed.  These may include exclusion zones, exclusion zones at particular times of year, requirements for marine mammal observers, or other measures deemed appropriate.  The oil and gas industry may need to accommodate the implementation of an independent marine observer programme.


Those wishing to carry out research on the species or in areas of where they are found may have to follow strict guidelines.  This may limit the types of research permitted in areas of known use by Harbour Porpoise.  It may also mean more lead time will be needed in planning research projects.

Marine Eco-tourism Operators

Those wishing to carry out marine Eco-tourism activities in areas of known Harbour Porpoise use may have to follow strict guidelines.  There may be seasonal area closures to boating traffic in such areas.

Conservation Non-governmental Organisations

The conservation community may play a role in raising public awareness of the species and activities that could endanger it.

Transportation Industry

The shipping sector may be asked to avoid areas of use by Harbour Porpoise, at certain times of the year.

Naval Operations

The Canadian navy may be asked to prepare guidelines for naval exercises in areas where the species is seen regularly. They may be asked not to carry out naval exercises in these areas (such as activities with sonar).  As with other conservation measures agreed to by the navy, these requirements could be waived in emergencies or in the case of national security requirements.