Notice of permit

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Regional or Local Number: DFO-PAF SARA 307

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. DFO-PAF SARA 307 is issued.

Activity affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity

Authorized Vessel Masters and representatives of the following fisheries: Crab, Geoduck and Horse Clam, Groundfish Trawl, Halibut, Prawn and Shrimp by trap, Sablefish, Salmon Gill Net, Salmon Seine, Salmon Troll, Schedule II Species and Shrimp trawl will engage in fishing activities that are conducted under licenses issued under the Fisheries Act. Activities will have minimal effects on this species at risk as per the pre-conditions outlined below. There are no directed fisheries for Basking Sharks in Canadian waters. However, they may be incidentally caught in the above fisheries. 3544 licences have been issued to fishers involved in these fishing activities.

Start Date: 2012-01-01   End Date: 2012-12-31

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Pacific Ocean

Affected Species:

(a) all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted: • Options to reduce the bycatch of Basking Sharks were explored. These included area and time closures, gear restrictions and gear modifications. Globally, Basking Sharks have been found entangled in nets (gill, trawl, and seine) as well as long lines and trap lines. Given that Basking Sharks may be incidentally caught in a variety of gear types in a variety of fisheries within Canadian Pacific waters, the only alternative would be full fishery closures. This was deemed to not be a reasonable alternative due to the estimated allowable harm. (b) all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals: • The conditions of licence require that every measure is taken to avoid the incidental capture of a Basking Shark while fishing activities are conducted; conditions of licence for the abovementioned fisheries that may encounter Basking Sharks include: •No setting or hauling of fishing gear when a Basking Shark is within 10 m of the fishing vessel and/or are visible at the water’s surface; and •While the fishing activities are carried out, any live Basking Shark that is incidentally caught is released in a manner that causes it the least harm. •Further, it was seen that these licence conditions, combined with outreach and collaboration with fishers, could provide an opportunity to prevent unintentional capture of basking sharks. (c) the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species: • The “Assessment of Information Used to Develop a Recovery Potential Assessment for Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) in Canada” (CSAS Research Document 2008/071) suggested that Basking Sharks in the Pacific Ocean could sustain a fishing mortality of 10 to 17 individuals annually. Best estimates of current abundance for this population of Basking Shark range from 321 to 535 individuals within the Northeast Pacific. • As incidental catch of Basking Sharks in Canadian Pacific waters are extremely rare in Canadian Pacific waters, with only four recorded mortalities since 1996, it was determined that permitting this rare incidental catch would not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species; that is, it would be unlikely that the fishing mortality of 10 to 17 animals would be reached within any calendar year.

Other Relevant Information:
Location of Activities (Ocean/Watershed and Province/Territory): Pacific Ocean

Contact Person(s)
Species at Risk Regional Manager
Pacific Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC
V6C 3S4
Tel: 604-666-7907

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