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Quebec Bulletin
February - March 2014/Volume 17/Number 1


Recovery Strategy for the Channel Darter

Another step towards the recovery of this species at risk

Channel Darter
G. Coker
Small fish

Fisheries and Oceans Canada announces the publication of the Recovery Strategy for the Channel Darter, a threatened species. This small freshwater fish, which is found in the St. Lawrence River and a few tributaries in Quebec and Ontario, is protected under the Species at Risk Act. The Channel Darter is threatened by habitat loss and degradatio,n as well as the introduction of invasive species and diseases.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has prepared this recovery strategy in cooperation with the governments of Quebec and Ontario, as well as other organizations. The objective of the strategy is to maintain existing Channel Darter populations and restore self-sustaining populations to the species' former habitats, where feasible. In addition, the recovery strategy has identified five areas as critical habitat. The Species at Risk Act prohibits destruction of this critical habitat required for the survival and recovery of the species, thereby helping to protect this small fish.

Many actions for the recovery of the species have already been undertaken in cooperation with various partners. For example, awareness raising activities, as well as surveys, have been conducted and an information pamphlet has been published. In addition, in 2009 the Government of Quebec added the Channel Darter to the List of species prohibited for use as baitfish.

Channel Darter Fact Sheet

Jacinthe Beauchamp 
Ecosystems Management

Harbour Authority Recognition Program

left to right, V. Malouin, A. Bolt, J. Mercier, B. Beaudoin
Joël Mercier, recipient of the regional distinction award, receiving the national Prix d’Excellence, shown with Vincent Malouin (left), Regional Director, Gaspé – Lower St. Lawrence Aarea, Arlène Bolt, Saint-Georges-de-Malbaie HA secretary, and Bernard Beaudoin (right), Regional Director, Small Craft Harbours.

Since the Harbour Authority Program’s inception, more than 650 fishing harbours are managed by Harbour Authorities in Canada. Approximately 5000 volunteers work for them in addition to several professional employees. This year, the program is celebrating its 25th anniversary!

Harbour Authorities (commonly known as HAs) are responsible for managing, operating and maintaining one or more public fishing harbours, through a lease agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. They are responsible for keeping the harbours clean and in good condition, and ensure that harbour facilities effectively support the fishing industry.

In 2008, the Department introduced the Harbour Authority Recognition Program. The program was implemented to officially recognize the work, accomplishments, efforts and essential role that HA volunteers play across Canada, in the daily management of fishing ports in their community.

In 2013, the Harbour Master at the Saint-Georges-de-Malbaie HA in the Gaspé, Joël Mercier, received two recognition awards: a regional distinction award and a national Prix d’Excellence.

Congratulations to Joël Mercier!

Jean-Pierre Huet
Small Craft Harbours

Conviction for Fisheries Act Violations

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, has released the names of fishermen who have received fines for violations of the Fisheries Act and continues to strictly enforce its zero tolerance policy for offenders. The Department has a mandate to protect and conserve fishery resources and is ever vigilant in its efforts to prevent poaching of marine resources.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada encourages the public to report poaching incidents by using the online form or calling 1-800-463-9057. All reports are confidential.