Roundnose Grenadier

Consultations on listing under the Species at Risk Act

Information summary and questionnaire for the consultations on adding Roundnose Grenadier to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as Endangered – Please provide your input by March 15, 2015

Consultations

Let your opinion be heard

Proposed SARA Status: Endangered

COSEWIC reason for designation: Surveys show 98% declines in adult abundance from 1978 to 1994 and a further decline from 1995 to 2003. Although much of the population lives at depths greater than those surveyed, adding uncertainty to the assessment, this is the best available information to assess species status. The species is long-lived and matures late, which makes it susceptible to human-caused mortality.

Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) provides legal protection for wildlife species at risk to conserve biological diversity.  It also acknowledges that all Canadians have a role to play in the conservation of wildlife species.

Before deciding whether Roundnose Grenadier (Coryphaenoides rupestris) will be added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk, we would like to hear your opinion, comments, and suggestions regarding the possible ecological, cultural, and economic impacts of listing or not listing this species under SARA.

Adding a population to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk…

The process of listing a species under Canada’s SARA consists of several steps:  it begins with a status assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and ends with a Government of Canada decision on whether or not to add a species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk.  Public consultations are also conducted to gather the views of Canadians and are an important step in this process.

Facts about Roundnose Grenadier

Roundnose Grenadier belongs to a family of fish, Macrouridae, often called “rattails”. It is found in deep waters (preferring 400–1,200 m depths) of the North Atlantic Ocean, and its range in Canadian waters stretches from Georges Bank (east of Cape Cod, south of Nova Scotia) northward to Davis Strait (north of Labrador, between Baffin Island and Greenland) (Figure 2).  Directed fishing of Roundnose Grenadier has been under moratorium within North Atlantic Fisheries Organization Subareas 0, 2, and 3 since 1997. However, this species is unintentionally caught (known as bycatch) in other deepwater fisheries, primarily those targeting Greenland Halibut.

drawing of Roundnose Grenadier
Figure 1.  Roundnose Grenadier.

The Roundnose Grenadier is medium brown to grey in colour and its fins and mouth are brownish-grey to black. The body is short, slightly compressed and tapers evenly to a sharp pointed tail. It has fairly short and compressed head (comprising approximately 15% of its body length) and has a soft, rounded snout. There is a small barbel (whisker-like appendage) on the chin.

map
Figure 2.  Global distribution of Roundnose Grenadier. COSEWIC 2008.

The Roundnose Grenadier is distributed on continental slopes and the mid-Atlantic ridge of the temperate North Atlantic. In the western North Atlantic, it ranges from off Cape Hatteras north to Baffin Island and Greenland. In the eastern Atlantic, it is found from off Norway south to North Africa. In Canadian waters, Roundnose Grenadier is most abundant from Davis Strait, on the continental slope off of Newfoundland and Labrador, and along the edge of the Grand Banks to Georges Bank. It is sometimes found on the Scotian Shelf. This map was taken from the 2008 Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessment and status report on the Roundnose Grenadier Coryphaenoides rupestris in Canada.

Who assigned the Endangered status to Roundnose Grenadier?

COSEWICis an independent committee of experts that assesses and designates which wildlife species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada and assigns these species a status. It conducts its assessments based on the best available information including scientific data, local ecological knowledge, and Aboriginal traditional knowledge. COSEWIC assessed the status of Roundnose Grenadier in Canada as Endangered in November 2008.

Why is Roundnose Grenadier assessed at risk?

COSEWICconcluded that mortality due to bycatch in deepwater fisheries is the primary threat to the Roundnose Grenadier. This species is particularly vulnerable because of its slow growth, late maturation, and annual production of small numbers of eggs.

If a species is listed under the Species at Risk Act

If Roundnose Grenadier is listed as Endangered, the prohibitions of SARA would immediately come into effect; it would be illegal to kill, harm, harass, capture, possess, buy, sell, or trade Roundnose Grenadier. A recovery strategy and subsequent action plan(s) would be developed to identify the measures to be taken to mitigate known threats. Critical habitat -- the habitat necessary for the survival and recovery of Roundnose Grenadier -- would be protected once it is identified in a recovery strategy or action plan.

We would like to receive your comments on the potential impacts of adding or not adding Roundnose Grenadier to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk under SARA as Endangered.

Your comments are important.

Please fill out the questionnaire:  we want to hear from you.

A copy of the 2008 COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on Roundnose Grenadier and other information can be found on the SARA Registry.

References

COSEWIC. 2008.  COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Roundnose Grenadier Coryphaenoides rupestris in Canada.  Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.  Ottawa. vii + 42 pp. (available at www.sararegistry.gc.ca).


Questionnaire:  Your comments are important!

The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain your comments on adding Roundnose Grenadier to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as Endangered

For more information, or to obtain the consultation material/submit comments online, go to www.sararegistry.gc.ca under “Get Involved” and then “Public Consultations”.

1. Do you support listing Roundnose Grenadier as Endangered on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk? Yes or no?

 


Why or why not?

 




2. What would be the potential positive impacts of listing Roundnose Grenadier on your activities, your community, your culture, the environment, and the economy?

 




3. What would be the potential negative impacts of listing Roundnose Grenadier on your activities, your community, your culture, the environment, and the economy?

 




4. Do you have any other comments on the listing of Roundnose Grenadier as Endangered on the List of Wildlife Species at Risk?

 




5. If you are answering on behalf of an Aboriginal community or organization, industry, small business1, association, or organization, please indicate its name.

 


6. In what province or territory do you live?  In what province or territory does your organization operate?

 


Your name and contact information (optional):

 


Thank you for completing this questionnaire. 

Please send it by mail, fax, or email to:

Species at Risk Program
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
P.O. Box 5667  
St. John’s, NL  A1C 5X1
Fax: (709)772-5562
E-Mail: saranl-leptnl@dfo-mpo.gc.ca


1Defined as any business, including its affiliates, that has fewer than 100 employees or gross annual revenues of $30,000–$5 million.