OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 29, 2016) - The Government of Canada is following through on its commitment and the desire of Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast to take action to protect species at risk. Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that 12 aquatic species are being proposed for listing under the Species at Risk Act.

The species proposed to be protected under the Act were published in Canada Gazette Part I on August 27, 2016 for public consultations. Canadians will have 30 days to provide comments.

Decisions to protect species under the Act are based on assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and other scientific advice. Decisions are also informed and guided by extensive consultations with the public, communities, Indigenous groups and industry. Science advice is a key component of the decision, as are the potential socio-economic impacts on Canadians and their communities.

Once a species is formally listed under the Act, a plan is developed to determine the best way to help it survive and recover. The government works with scientists, industries, local fishing organizations, Indigenous groups and affected communities to develop strategies and plans. All Canadians play a role in helping to protect species at risk and their recovery.

Species proposed for listing

  • Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Westslope)
  • Mountain Sucker (Pacific)
  • Mountain Sucker (Milk River)
  • Dolly Varden (Western Arctic)
  • Redside Dace
  • Harbour Seal (Lac des Loups Marins subsp.)
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle (Atlantic)
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle (Pacific)
  • Beluga (St. Lawrence Estuary)
  • Beluga (Cumberland Sound)
  • Atlantic Mud-Piddock

Not all species identified by COSEWIC are listed, including in this listing batch, the Atlantic bluefin tuna and the Yellowmouth rockfish, though these and other species do have protections under the Fisheries Act, the Oceans Act, the Canada National Parks Act, as well as a number of provincial, territorial and municipal legislative tools and other non-legislative tools.


"The actions taken by the Government of Canada to protect these vulnerable species demonstrate our commitment to nurturing Canada's wildlife and biodiversity. We promised to respond quickly to the advice of scientists, and today's announcement demonstrates that we will follow through on that promise."

Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada passed the Species at Risk Act in 2002 to provide a legal framework for wildlife species management, protection and recovery.
  • Currently, there are over 100 aquatic species protected under the Act.
  • COSEWIC is an independent committee that identifies species at risk and is made up of wildlife experts and scientists from federal, provincial and territorial governments, universities, and non-government organizations.
  • Once listed, the Species at Risk Act requires recovery and management plans. In August, the department published a number of recovery and management plans, including the Sydenham River Action Plan, the North Atlantic Right Whale Action Plan, and the Speckled Dace Recovery Strategy.

Associated Links

Canada Gazette, Part 1: Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act

Learn more about Aquatic Species at Risk

Learn more about the Species at Risk Public Registry


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Contact Information:

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Patricia Bell
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada