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Quebec Bulletin
August-September 2016/Volume 19/Number 4

Renewal for Species at Risk in Canada

On August 27, the Governor in Council published its decision on whether or not to list several species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in Canada Gazette, Part I. Canadians are invited to provide comments on the listing decision for a 30-day consultation period.

Three of these species are found in Quebec: the Beluga Whale – St. Lawrence Estuary population, the Harbour Seal – Lacs des Loups Marins subspecies, and the Bluefin Tuna.

Beluga at the surface
Beluga at the surface
F. Martin, Makivik Corporation
  • Since 2005, the Beluga Whale, an iconic marine mammal of the St. Lawrence Estuary, is listed as threatened under SARA. A Recovery Strategy was published in 2012. The present decision is a reclassification: from threatened to endangered. The new status provides the same legal protection.

  • The Harbor Seal – Lacs des Loups Marins is unique because it is a freshwater seal only found in northwest Quebec. The exact number of individuals in this population is unknown, but it is estimated to be between 50 and 600, which means it is a small population. The decision is to list it as an endangered species.

  • The last species is Bluefin Tuna, which can be found in Quebec, and the proposed decision is not to list the species under SARA. Recent assessments show positive signs of the spawning stock rebuilding. This species is part of an international Integrated Fisheries Management Plan and it is expected that the spawning stock will be maintained or increased compared to 2012.

For more information on aquatic species at risk, you can consult the Aquatic Species at Risk website.


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