Deepwater Redfish Gulf of St. Lawrence - Laurentian Channel population
Scientific Name: Sebastes mentella
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: Atlantic Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: April 2010
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A2b+4b
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 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 98% since 1984, somewhat more than one generation, and the decline has not ceased. Directed fishing and incidental harvest in fisheries for other species (bycatch) are the main known threats. Harvesting in parts of this population (Gulf of St. Lawrence) is currently limited to an index fishery, but commercial fisheries remain open in other areas (Laurentian Channel). 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 recovery.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in April 2010.
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd):
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.
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.
Distribution and Population
In Canadian waters, there are two Deepwater Redfish populations: Northern, and Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel. The latter population is observed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the Scotian Shelf, up to the continental slope. Deepwater Redfish of this population can be found as far as the Saguenay Fjord.
Deepwater Redfish are found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They live primarily along continental slopes and in deep channels, from 350 to 500 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.
Deepwater Redfish are ovoviviparous, meaning that females keep their fertilized eggs inside their bodies until the larvae have hatched. 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.
The directed fishery is still the main threat to the survival and recovery of this population, except in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where it is prohibited since 1995. It is estimated that the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population of Deepwater Redfish has declined in abundance by 97% since 1984. Deepwater Redfish are also caught as bycatch in other fisheries, such as the Northern Shrimp fishery.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
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 (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
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.