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List of Wildlife Species at Risk (referral back to COSEWIC) Order (SI/2021-33)

Regulations are current to 2024-05-01

List of Wildlife Species at Risk (referral back to COSEWIC) Order



Registration 2021-07-07

List of Wildlife Species at Risk (referral back to COSEWIC) Order

P.C. 2021-597 2021-06-17

His Excellency the Administrator of the Government of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsections 27(1.1) and (1.2) of the Species at Risk ActFootnote a,

  • (a) refers the assessment of the status of the Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) St. Lawrence River population back to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) for further information or consideration; and

  • (b) approves that the Minister of the Environment include in the public registry established under section 120 of that Act the statement that is attached as the annex to this Order and that sets out the reasons for the referral back to COSEWIC.

ANNEXStatement Setting Out the Reasons for Referring the Assessment of the Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) St. Lawrence River Population Back to COSEWIC

The Striped Bass (St. Lawrence River (SLR) population) is listed as endangered in Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The last sighting of an individual of the historical Striped Bass (SLR population) was in 1968. In 2002, Quebec began restocking efforts using fish from a separate population in the Miramichi River. In 2004, COSEWIC assessed the Striped Bass (SLR population) and classified it as extirpated. In 2011, the Striped Bass (SLR population) was added to Schedule 1 to SARA as extirpated. In 2012, COSEWIC reassessed the species and reclassified it as endangered, taking into account stocked fish originating from the Miramichi River. In August 2019, the classification of Striped Bass (SLR population) in Schedule 1 to SARA was changed from extirpated to endangered. At the COSEWIC Wildlife Species Assessment Meeting in November 2019, in an addendum to its 2012 assessment, COSEWIC once again reassessed this population. It came to the conclusion that, based on current COSEWIC guidelines the individuals currently found in the St. Lawrence River are not part of the original SLR population and, therefore, that the 2012 status report erroneously included the individuals from the stocked population. For those reasons, COSEWIC reclassified the Striped Bass (SLR population) as extinct.

The addendum to COSEWIC’s 2012 assessment restricts the information being provided by COSEWIC to information in regards to only the historic population of Striped Bass in the St. Lawrence River and negates conclusions made in 2012 pertaining to the risk status of the introduced fish currently inhabiting the St. Lawrence River or how they may fit into the future population (or “designatable unit”) structure of all Canadian Striped Bass. Because the Governor in Council’s 2011 listing and subsequent August 2019 reclassification decisions pertained to the entirety of the Striped Bass individuals in the St. Lawrence River and the provisions of SARA apply to those individuals, the Minister of the Environment, on the advice of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, has determined that more information is needed on the status of the existing Striped Bass in the St. Lawrence River before a recommendation with respect to the Striped Bass (SLR population) can be made. Therefore, the matter is referred back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is committed to working with COSEWIC on this matter.

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