Species Profile

Acadian Redfish Atlantic population

Scientific Name: Sebastes fasciatus
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: Atlantic Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2010
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: Met criterion for Endangered, A2b, but designated Threatened, A2b, because the species is widely distributed, the population includes several hundred million mature individuals, and abundance indices are stable or increasing since the 1990s in some areas.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: As with other members of the family Sebastidae, this species is long-lived (maximum age about 75 yr), late-maturing (generation time 16-18 yr), and highly vulnerable to mortality from human activities.  Recruitment is episodic, with strong year-classes only occurring every 5-12 years. Abundance of mature individuals has declined 99% in areas of highest historical abundance over about two generations. However, since the 1990’s, there has been no long-term trend in one area, and trends have been stable or increasing in other areas where large declines have been previously observed. Directed fishing and incidental harvest in fisheries for other species (bycatch) are the main known threats. Fisheries in parts of the range of this designatable unit (DU) are currently closed, but remain open in other areas. Bycatch in shrimp fisheries has been substantially reduced since the 1990s by use of separator grates in trawls, but could still be frequent enough to affect population recovery. 
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in April 2010.
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd):

No schedule - No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Description

Deepwater Redfish are spiny-rayed and range in colour from bright orange to red. They are characterized by their protruding lower jaw, large eyes, and the bony spines that cover their gills.

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Distribution and Population

There are two Acadian Redfish populations: Atlantic and Bonne Bay. The Atlantic population of Acadian Redfish extends across all Canada's Atlantic waters, with the exception of the northernmost area. They can be observed as far as Baffin Island.

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Habitat

Acadian Redfish are almost exclusively found within Canadian Atlantic waters. They live primarily along continental slopes and in deep channels, from 150 to 300 metres. Larvae prefer surface waters, where they feed on copepods and fish eggs, while adults live in cold, deep waters where they prey upon other fish.

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Biology

They reach sexual maturity very late, and abundant generations are only observed every 5 to 12 years. Distinctive characteristics of Redfish are their slow growth and long lifespan; they can live up to 75 years. Acadian Redfish are ovoviviparous, meaning that females keep their fertilized eggs inside their bodies until the larvae have hatched.

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Threats

Fishing and bycatch in other fisheries such as the Northern Shrimp fishery are the main threats to the survival and recovery of this population. It is estimated that the Atlantic population of Acadian Redfish has declined 99% in abundance since the late 1970s, except on the Scotian Shelf where it seems to have remained stable. The commercial Redfish fishery is prohibited in some areas of this population’s distribution, but is allowed in some sectors.

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

4 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Acadian Redfish, Atlantic population (2010-12-02)

    As with other members of the family Sebastidae, this species is long-lived (maximum age about 75 yr), late-maturing (generation time 16-18 yr), and highly vulnerable to mortality from human activities.  Recruitment is episodic, with strong year-classes only occurring every 5-12 years. Abundance of mature individuals has declined 99% in areas of highest historical abundance over about two generations. However, since the 1990’s, there has been no long-term trend in one area, and trends have been stable or increasing in other areas where large declines have been previously observed. Directed fishing and incidental harvest in fisheries for other species (bycatch) are the main known threats. Fisheries in parts of the range of this designatable unit (DU) are currently closed, but remain open in other areas. Bycatch in shrimp fisheries has been substantially reduced since the 1990s by use of separator grates in trawls, but could still be frequent enough to affect population recovery. 

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010-09-03)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Consultation Documents

  • Redfish - Consultations on listing under the Species at Risk Act (2013-11-01)

    The Species at Risk Act acknowledges that all Canadians have a role to play in preventing the disappearance of wildlife species. Before deciding whether any of these Redfish populations will be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, we would like your opinion, comments and suggestions regarding the possible ecological, cultural and economic impacts of listing or not listing these populations under the Species at Risk Act.
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