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Recovery Strategy for Blue, Fin, and Sei Whales in Pacific Canadian Waters [Proposed]

Appendix C: Record of Consultations

Pacific blue, fin and sei whales are aquatic species under federal jurisdiction, managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO): 200 - 401 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC., V6C 3S4.

There are few people in Canada with scientific, traditional or local knowledge of blue, fin and sei whales, as sightings are relatively rare, particularly of blue and sei whales. Recovery will need to be predominantly research-focused until more information is gathered on abundance and distribution, critical habitat and threats.

To assist in the development of this Recovery Strategy, DFO brought together a small group of technical experts to develop an initial draft of this Recovery Strategy. On the advice of the Species at Risk Coordinator at the BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, a letter was sent to all coastal First Nations seeking their interest in the development of the Recovery Strategy. The Province of BC provided an expert and Parks Canada provided a technical review. In addition, Natural Resources Canada and the Department of National Defence provided input to the Recovery Strategy. There are no wildlife management boards that function within the distribution of these species.

Additional input was sought through the internet, both the initial draft (August 2005) of this proposed Recovery Strategy and a feedback form were available. In addition to a public news release announcing the development of the Recovery Strategy, the news release was specifically sent to a marine mammal list serve (MARMAM) with a broad international distribution to marine mammal researchers and interests, the Vancouver Aquarium AquaNews newsletter, and to a distribution list of whale-related contacts provided to DFO in recent years from environmental groups, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and the eco-tourism sector.

Four First Nations organizations responded with an interest in the Recovery Strategy, including Chemainus Fisheries, Mowachaht/Muchalaht Fisheries, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Fisheries and Heiltsuk Tribal Council. Concerns were expressed from the Musqueam Indian Band Fisheries on Ministerial responsibilities under SARA, but no comments were provided on the Recovery Strategy specifically. Whale Watch Operators Association NW and a member of the public submitted comments, and assistance in recovery was also offered. Three external reviewers with expertise on whales provided a scientific (‘peer’) review of the initial draft. The input received has been incorporated into this document wherever possible. 

Technical assistance:

Edward Gregr, Marine Ecologist, SciTech Consulting; John Calambokidis, Research Biologist, Cascadia Research; Laurie Convey, Resource Management Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, South Coast Area; John Ford, Marine Mammal Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station; Lisa Spaven, Research Technician, Cetacean Research Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station; Ian Perry, Research Scientist, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station; Mark Zacharias, Manager, Ocean Sciences Office, British Columbia Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management.

External review:

Lance Barrett-Lennard, Marine Mammal Scientist, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre; Richard Sears, Mingan Island Cetacean Study; Greg Silber, Coordinator, Recovery Activities for Endangered Large Whale Species, Office of Protected Resources, NOAA/NMFS, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.