Species Profile

Blue Whale Pacific population

Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus
Taxonomy Group: Mammals
COSEWIC Range: Pacific Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2012
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A2abd; D1
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: Individuals off the coast of British Columbia are likely part of a northeastern Pacific population that was depleted by whaling. The infrequency of observations (visual and acoustic) suggests their numbers are currently very low (significantly less than 250 mature individuals). Threats to this species along the coast of British Columbia are poorly known, but may include ship strikes, anthropogenic noise, entanglement in fishing gear, and long-term changes in climate (which could affect the abundance of their zooplankton prey).
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in April 1983. Split into two populations in May 2002. The Pacific population was designated Endangered in May 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-01-12

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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Blue Whale Non-active Special Concern

Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Other Protection or Status | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Blue Whale

Blue Whale Photo 1

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Description

The Blue Whale is the largest animal known to have ever existed on the planet. It is a rorqual whale, a group of whales characterized by pleated grooves in the skin of the neck that allow the throat to expand during the intake of huge amounts of water during feeding. Blue Whales have between 60 and 88 of these throat grooves running from the throat to mid-body. Their tapered, elongated bodies are widest at the level of the eye, with the head accounting for about one-quarter of the total length. The dorsal fin is relatively small, and the pectoral flippers are pointed. Overall, Blue Whales are a mottled blend of dark and light shades of grey. The pattern of the mottling can vary considerably, but it is unique to each individual, and remains stable over time. It can therefore be used to identify individuals and track their movements and behaviour. The biggest Blue Whale ever recorded was 29.5 m long. Females are generally larger than males. Calves measure about 7 m at birth and weigh about 2 tons.

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Distribution and Population

Blue Whales are found in all the oceans of the world. Three subspecies are recognized. The Blue Whale that occurs in Canada is commonly known as the Northern Hemisphere subspecies. Two geographically separated populations exist in Canadian waters: one in the North Atlantic and the other in the North Pacific. The Pacific population occurs in offshore waters off the west coast of Canada and migrates past Vancouver Island (northwards in spring and southwards in fall). In the eastern North Pacific the Blue Whale is currently most common in waters from California to Central America. Estimates of Blue Whales off Mexico and California range from 1500 to 3000 individuals, but there is no estimate of the number of Blue Whales off western Canada, where the whales were once abundant. The rarity of recent sighting reports, however, suggests their numbers are very low.

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Habitat

Blue Whales range widely, inhabiting both coastal and open waters. The Pacific population of Blue Whales remains mostly offshore in the open ocean. Feeding aggregations are often found at the continental shelf edge where upwelling produces concentrations of krill (small shrimp-like crustaceans), the whales’ main food.

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Biology

Blue Whales migrate in small herds, spending the summer in food-rich areas close to the edge of the polar ice, and the winter in temperate waters. They feed almost exclusively on krill and one whale may eat as much as 4 tons per day. Blue Whales feed by gulping large quantities of krill, allowing both the water and crustaceans to enter the mouth. The water pressure causes the throat grooves to expand, allowing the whale to hold huge volumes of water in its mouth. The whale then uses its tongue and the muscles at the bottom of the mouth to push the water out through the baleen. Krill and other planktonic organisms become trapped in the fringes of the baleen plates, and the whale then swallows them. After breathing from 6 to 20 times at the water’s surface over a 1- to 5-minute period, Blue Whales generally dive for 5 to 15 minutes. Dives of 20 minutes are not uncommon, and rare dives of up to 36 minutes have been recorded in the St. Lawrence. Male and female Blue Whales reach sexual maturity at between 5 and 15 years of age, females when they measure from 21 to 23 m long and males at a length of 20 to 21 m. Mating and the birth of young take place during the fall and winter in the warmer southern waters. Females give birth, usually to a single calf, every two or three years after a gestation period of 10 to 11 months. It has been estimated that Blue Whales live from 70 to 80 years. They can swim at speeds of up to 36 km/hr, but typically cruise at 2 to 8 km/hr when they are feeding or travelling. In addition to being the largest animals on earth, Blue Whales are also the loudest: at up to 186 decibels their calls are louder than a jet (which reaches only 140 decibels). The calls, which vary among populations, have been described in some detail, but their function remains unclear. Current indications are that only the males make these long, loud calls

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Threats

Past commercial whaling of Blue Whales is the main factor responsible for the population decline. Throughout the North Pacific between 1910 and 1965, commercial whalers harvested at least 9500 Blue Whales, some of which were caught by shore-based whaling stations in British Columbia from the early 1900s to 1965. Since the end of commercial whaling, human threats have included collisions with ships, increasing whale-watching activity, entanglement in fishing gear, and pollution (especially oil pollution).

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Blue Whale, Pacific population, is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

The Blue Whale is also protected under the Canadian Whaling Regulations. These regulations prohibit commercial whaling within Canada's 200-mile fishing zone. In the North Pacific, whaling for this species was prohibited in 1966.

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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Other Protection or Status

Internationally, Blue Whales are protected by the International Whaling Commission. The Blue Whale is listed by both the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for Blue, Fin, and Sei Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, and B. borealis) in Pacific Canadian Waters
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Blue, Fin, Sei and North Pacific Right Whale Action Plan Technical Team

  • Jonathan Thar - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Phone: 604-666-3811  Fax: 604-666-3341  Send Email

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to date The Blue Whale Pacific population has been increasing since the moratorium on commercial whaling and is currently estimated at 2000 animals. However, the rate of increase likely reflects a shift in distribution in addition to increased population growth. The eastern North Pacific population represents a large proportion of the known blue whales in the world. Internationally, blue whales are listed as “Protected” by the IWC and also are listed as “Endangered” by the IUCN (World Conservation Union). A multi-species recovery strategy for Pacific blue, fin and sei whales is being finalized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for June 2006. Further research is required to better understand the Pacific blue whale population, habitat requirements, and threats to their recovery. These activities are being identified in the drafting of a multi-species Action Plan for Pacific blue, fin, sei, and right whales. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities The size of the eastern North Pacific blue whale population has been estimated using both line transect and mark-recapture (photo-identification) techniques. In Pacific Canadian waters, marine mammal surveys are conducted by DFO and collaborators off the coast of British Columbia (BC) and have resulted in two blue whale sightings in 2002, one in 2003, and two in 2005. Whenever possible, individual whales sighted during these surveys are photographed for identification and comparison with catalogues of whales sighted in U.S. waters. Acoustic monitoring efforts using remote acoustic recording devices also are being undertaken in BC waters. In addition, the BC Cetacean Sightings Network collects opportunistic sightings of dolphins, porpoises, and whales that help to determine distribution as well as relative abundance for many species, including the blue whale. Basic data on abundance, distribution, critical habitat, and threats are being collected as the priority for blue whale recovery. Summary of Recovery Activities DFO is creating a predictive model of habitat for blue whales and other large cetaceans in order to focus survey effort and work towards identifying critical habitat for these species. The Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) ocean planning initiative incorporates mitigation strategies to address threats to species at risk and to protect critical habitat(s) on the North Coast of British Columbia from Brooks Peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and Campbell River on the east coast of Vancouver Island, north to the Alaska border, focusing on the Queen Charlotte Basin (Queen Charlotte Sound to Hecate Strait). The marine area extends to the bottom of the shelf slope and therefore includes a significant portion of on-shelf whale habitat in Pacific Canadian waters. While the potential opportunities for ecotourism or private-based whale watching are limited for blue whales in Pacific Canadian waters due to the rarity of sightings and that the whales range in remote offshore waters, marine mammal viewing guidelines have been developed as a general code of conduct to limit disturbance. Monitoring and enforcement of these guidelines, as they relate to the disturbance prohibition of the Marine Mammal Regulations, is conducted as required. The guidelines include reducing speed, time restricted observation periods, and minimal approach distances (100m) for all boaters (recreational and otherwise) and paddlers when they are near marine mammals. URLs DFO: (Proposed) Recovery Strategy for the blue, fin, and sei whales in Pacific Canadian Waters (January 2006):http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/plans/showDocument_e.cfm?id=871

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.

35 record(s) found.

Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus in Canada (2002-05-01)

    The blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus 1758) is the largest animal known to have lived on Earth with a maximum reported length of 33.6m (110ft) although the longest scientifically validated was 29.9m (98ft). Three subspecies have been designated: the largest B.m. intermedia is found in Antarctic waters; B.m. musculus in the Northern Hemisphere; and B.m. brevicauda, from the sub-Antarctic zone of the southern Indian Ocean and southwestern Pacific Ocean. Two geographically separated populations exist in Canadian waters, one in the western North Atlantic off eastern Canada and one off western Canada in the North Pacific.
  • COSEWIC Status Appraisal Summary on the Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus, Pacific Population, in Canada (2013-01-03)

    The species was considered a single unit and designated Special Concern in April 1983. Split into two populations in May 2002. The Pacific population was designated Endangered in May 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2012.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Blue Whale, Pacific population (2013-01-03)

    Individuals off the coast of British Columbia are likely part of a northeastern Pacific population that was depleted by whaling. The infrequency of observations (visual and acoustic) suggests their numbers are currently very low (significantly less than 250 mature individuals). Threats to this species along the coast of British Columbia are poorly known, but may include ship strikes, anthropogenic noise, entanglement in fishing gear, and long-term changes in climate (which could affect the abundance of their zooplankton prey).
  • Response Statements - Blue Whale (2004-04-21)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for Blue, Fin, and Sei Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, and B. borealis) in Pacific Canadian Waters (2006-07-14)

    This Recovery Strategy provides the scientific basis to recover the populations of blue, fin and sei whales that occur in Pacific Canadian waters off the coast of British Columbia. Knowledge about these whales is poor in Pacific Canadian waters. Therefore the collection of basic data on abundance and distribution, critical habitat, and threats is the first priority for their recovery. As information is gathered, the Recovery Strategy may be amended to incorporate new findings (a copy of the amendment must be included in the public registry).

Action Plans

  • Action Plan for Blue, Fin, Sei and North Pacific Right Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis, and Eubalaena japonica) in Canadian Pacific Waters (2017-03-09)

    This action plan addresses the entire set of populations of Blue, Fin, Sei and North Pacific Right Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis, and Eubalaena japonica) in Canadian Pacific waters. It identifies recovery measures to implement the broad goals and objectives outlined in the Recovery Strategy for Blue, Fin and Sei Whales in Pacific Canadian Waters (Gregr et al. 2006), and the Recovery Strategy for North Pacific Right Whales (DFO 2011). All four species are being considered together because of their similar geographic distribution, common threats to survival, and the efficiency of integrating activities and resources required for recovery.
  • Multi-species Action Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site (2016-07-04)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site meets the requirements for an action plan set out in the Species at Risk Act (SARA (s.47)) for species requiring an action plan that occur inside the boundary of the site. This action plan will be updated to more comprehensively include measures to conserve and recover the marine species at risk once the first integrated Land, Sea, People management plan for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve & Haida Heritage Site (hereafter called Gwaii Haanas) is complete. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur in Gwaii Haanas.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (2004-04-21)

    This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 139, number 2, 2005) (2005-01-12)

    Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), is amended by Order of the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, by the addition of 73 species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and follows consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the public, and analysis of costs and benefits to Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2011-2012 (2012-10-05)

    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”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (September 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) from November 21 to 25, 2011 and from April 29 to May 4, 2012. On February 3, 2012, an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee of COSEWIC also assessed the status of the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). During the current reporting period COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 67 wildlife species. 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 2011-2012 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 1 Extirpated: 4 Endangered: 29 Threatened: 10 Special Concern: 15 Data Deficient: 2 Not at Risk: 6 Total: 67 Of the 67 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 49 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment (see Table 1a).

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing licence(#16-PPAC-00005 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2016-02-11)

    Authorized representatives from DFO, the Animal Health Center and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to collect for diagnostic purposes: all tissues, organ fluids and/or blood of dead salvaged parts or surplus material collected from dead marine mammals and turtles.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#18-PPAC-00027 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-06-26)

    The California Current Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey is a scientific study designed to assess the status of marine mammal stocks and monitor the ecosystem they inhabit. Data on cetacean distribution, school size, and school composition are collected to determine abundance. Cetacean skin biopsies will be used to investigate stock structure and phylogenic relationships. Photographs will document geographic and individual variation. Oceanographic data will characterize cetaceans' habitat and it's variation over time.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#19-PPAC-00034 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2019-07-07)

    The study aims at determining sound propagation (detectability over distance) for Killer Whale calls within their habitat including natural and anthropogenic noise conditions. The activities permitted under this license shall assess Killer Whale vocalization ranges, which vary by location, habitat and times of the year. The study aims at better understanding the impact of noise on vocalization ranges and to determine optimal locations for passive killer whale acoustic monitoring stations. Simulated sounds including calls of Killer Whales shall be projected underwater from a stationary source and recorded via hydrophones at various distances and different angles from the source via a mobile platform (small vessel). This information will also be used to determine the optimal locations for passive acoustic monitoring and tracking of whales. The activities permitted under this license include the following: 1. Simulated sounds including calls of Killer Whales may be projected underwater from a stationery source (anchored vessel) via an underwater sound projector suspended at a fixed depth of either 10 or 25 m and recorded via two or more hydrophones at various distances and different angles. 2. Sound projection shall not be conducted when cetaceans are present within 5km of the recording and sound projection vessel. 3. The area is to be monitored visually and acoustically for cetaceans for 30 minutes prior to acoustic trials to ensure that no cetaceans are present within 5 km. If cetaceans are present within 5 km, acoustic trials must be delayed or stopped and monitoring for an additional 30 minutes shall continue before acoustic trials can be reinitiated.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 106), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2010-01-01)

    Authorized representatives from DFO, the Animal Health Center and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to collect for diagnostic purposes: all tissues, organ fluids and/or blood of dead salvaged parts or surplus material collected from dead marine mammals and turtles.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 107), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2010-02-09)

    Authorized representatives from DFO, the Animal Health Center and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to collect for diagnostic purposes: all tissues, organ fluids and/or blood of dead salvaged parts or surplus material collected from dead marine mammals and turtles.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 151 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2010-01-01)

    Authorized representatives from DFO and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to disentangle pinnipeds, cetaceans or sea turtles from fishing gear and other debris of human origin.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 153 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2012-08-02)

    Authorized representatives of the Fisheries Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries, are licensed to collect photographic identification, video tape and line transect sighting surveys to aid in the research and recovery of these species at risk by determining abundance estimates.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 159 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2013-01-22)

    Authorized representatives from DFO, the Animal Health Center and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to collect for diagnostic purposes: all tissues, organ fluids and/or blood of dead salvaged parts or surplus material collected from dead marine mammals and turtles.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 160 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2013-01-23)

    Authorized representatives from DFO and the Vancouver Aquarium are licensed to disentangle pinnipeds, cetaceans or sea turtles from fishing gear and other debris of human origin.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PAF SARA 276 ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2013-01-01)

    Authorized representatives from DFO are licensed to conduct photo identification, prey and scat collection, biopsy sampling, tagging, underwater video and acoustic playback as per research protocols.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PPAC-18-00008), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-04-19)

    Disentanglement of all cetacean, pinniped and sea turtle species on the Pacific Coast. The disentanglement technique will be decided by the DFO primary investigator in consultation with team members and other personnel. The exact method will depend on the nature of the debris, available equipment, location, physical condition and size of the animal. Drones may be used to assess and identify gear tangle configuration to assist with disentanglement A DFO approved tag may be attached to each released animal.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PPAC-18-00023), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-05-10)

    Scientific research on all cetacean species on the Pacific Coast to monitor animal health, life history, diet, social structure, population and distribution. Photo-identification of individual cetaceans using natural markings. Closest approach distance to whales is 20 metres for photographic identification. Collection of prey fragments and scat from cetaceans. Closest approach distance to whales is 20 metres for prey fragment and scat collection. Collection of skin and blubber biopsy samples using a 12 gram dart deployed from a pneumatic dart projector at closest approach distance of 10 metres to whales. Maximum number of samples permitted per annum per species: 50 samples for Killer, Humpback, Blue and Fin whale; 25 samples for Minke, Sei, Grey and Sperm whale; 10 samples for Baird's Beaked, Cuvier's Beaked and North Pacific Right whale; 5 samples for Hubb's Beaked and Stejneger's Beaked whales. Collection of data on vocalisations and swimming behaviour of killer whales using data loggers fitted with flexible suction cups to be temporarily affixed to killer whale dorsal surface by 5 metre long fibreglass pole. Closest approach distance of 4 metres to whales for attachment of data logger as per research protocols. Maximum of 20 individual killer whales per annum. Collection of data on cetacean movement patterns by use of miniature surface mounted satellite tags. Closest approach distance of 4 metres to whales for attachment of tag as per research protocols. Maximum of 20 individuals per annum of the following species: Grey, Killer, Fin, Blue, Sei, Minke, Humpback and North Pacific Right whale. Collection of underwater video of cetacean behaviour by means of a pole-mounted camera deployed from vessel. Closest approach distance of 5 metres to whales for video collection. Investigation of cetacean behavioural acoustics by means of playbacks of underwater sounds. Only marine mammal sounds are permitted to be used, at source levels equal to or less than natural levels produced by vocalizing animals. Collection of data (e.g., photogrammetric measurements, breath samples) using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). UAS must be operated by trained assistants at an altitude of at least 5 meters above whales.
  • Explanation for issuing licence(#DFO-PPAC-18-00026), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2018-06-28)

    Marine mammal surveys of Barkley Sound and surrounding waters to identify the baseline distribution and relative densities of marine mammals.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PAC MML SARA 15), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-06-21)

    The study involves the investigation of population identity, genetic diversity, and contaminant levels in cetaceans off the west coast of Canada. It is a key element of the assessment of population status of these species, as mandated by the Species-at-Risk Act. To undertake genetic and contaminant analyses, small biopsy samples are collected from free-swimming animals using a light-weight dart fired from a pneumatic dart projector. Skin samples are used for genetic analyses, and the small amount of blubber collected is used for contaminant, fatty acid and stable isotope analyses.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PAC MML SARA 16), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2005-06-21)

    Cetaceans will be approached, by researchers, for collection of photo-identification data of individuals and prey fragments for diet determination. No impact to whales or habitat is expected. The study will contribute knowledge of cetaceans and support recovery objectives for these species.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PAC MML SARA 23), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-05-11)

    Monthly line transect surveys will be conducted as part of a study to ground-truth the sighting effort of over 1500 volunteer observers. As part of these surveys the proposal is to collect photographs of the species listed to contribute to ongoing photo-identification mark-recapture studies including: ongoing monitoring of killer whale populations (resident, transient and offshore); multi-agency Structure of Populations Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks photo-id study; gray whale photo-id catalogues; Pacific white-sided dolphin photo-identification catalogue. As photo identification has been recommended in the Recovery Strategy for blue, fin and sei whales, identification photos will be collected if these species are encountered.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#PAC MML SARA 24), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-03-12)

    A line transect survey will be conducted on the west side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The location and number of all marine mammals will be documented. All killer whales and humpback whales encountered will be photographed for photo-identification. Behavioural data will be collected from as many Southern Resident killer whales as possible, but will not likely exceed 40 individuals. Behavioural data will be collected using a focal follow approach.
  • >> See more Permits and Related Agreements documents

Consultation Documents

  • Species at Risk Act - Legal Listing of Aquatic Species, Pacific Region - Consultation Workbook (2004-03-17)

    Your opinion is being sought to assist the government of Canada in making an informed decision on whether to add any or all of the following 10 aquatic species to the Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species include: Blue Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Enos Lake Stickleback, Speckled Dace, Salish Sucker, Cultus Lake Sockeye, Interior Fraser Coho, Sakinaw Lake Sockeye, and Bocaccio. Your input on the impacts of adding these species to the List is important. This workbook has been developed to give you an opportunity to provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada with your feedback, advice, and other comments regarding adding the above mentioned 10 species to Schedule 1 of SARA (Schedule 1 identifies which species are legally protected under SARA).

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Recovery Document Posting Plan - Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (2018-09-28)

    Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), the competent Minister(s) must prepare a recovery strategy within one year of listing a species on Schedule 1 of SARA as endangered and within two years of listing a species as extirpated or threatened. A management plan must be prepared within three years for a species listed as special concern. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is accountable for 111 of the 518 species listed under SARA. As of February 2016, proposed recovery strategies, management plans and action plans for 57 of those species have not yet been posted to the Species at Risk Public Registry. An additional 23 aquatic species have proposed management or action plans coming due in the future. The following outlines the Department’s plan for posting proposed documents for 64 species on the Species at Risk Public Registry. The Department has a plan to post recovery strategies for 9 species, management plans for 13 species, and action plans for 42 species over the next year. Original publication of the Recovery Document Posting Plan: 2016-05-02
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