Roughhead Grenadier

Consultations on listing under the Species at Risk Act

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

Consultations

Let your opinion be heard

Proposed SARA Status: Special Concern

COSEWICreason for designation:  Surveys show roughly stable abundances in the 1970s but large declines in the 1980s. The declines in the 1980s amounted to 90%–95% declines over 10–15 years. The extent to which these declines reflect actual declines in population abundance is unclear.  Since the early to mid-1990s, numbers have been stable or increasing slightly.

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 Roughhead Grenadier (Macrourus berglax) 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 the 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 Roughhead Grenadier

Roughhead 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 Roughhead 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 Roughhead Grenadier
Figure 1.  Roughhead Grenadier.

The Roughhead Grenadier is ash grey in colour. It has a large head (approximately 25% of the total length of the body) with large eyes and a moderately slender body, tapering uniformly to a pointed tail. The head is fairly broad with ridges on top bearing strong, small spines. It has a prominent pointed snout that is equal to eye height. A small chin barbel is present.

map
Figure 2.  Global distribution of Roughhead Grenadier. COSEWIC2007.

The Roughhead Grenadier is found along the continental shelf and slope in temperate to arctic waters of the North Atlantic. In the western North Atlantic, they can be found from Davis Strait, off the Labrador and northeast Newfoundland Shelves, off the Grand Bank, off Nova Scotia on Banquereau, Sable Island, and Browns Banks, and on Georges Bank. In the eastern North Atlantic, they can be found from the Irish Atlantic Slope and Faeroe Islands, Norwegian coast to Spitzbergen and into the Barents Sea. This map was taken from the 2007 Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessment and status report on the Roughhead Grenadier Macrourus berglax in Canada. 

Who assigned the Special Concern status to Roughhead 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.  COSEWICassessed the status of Roughhead Grenadier in Canada as Special Concern in April 2007.  

Why is Roughhead Grenadier assessed at risk?

COSEWICconcluded that mortality due to bycatch in deepwater fisheries is the primary threat to Roughhead 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 Roughhead Grenadier is listed, given the Special Concern status, the automatic prohibitions (for example, prohibitions against killing, harming, and capturing) of SARA would not apply.  However, listing would result in the development of a SARA management plan that will include conservation measures for the species.

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

Your comments are important.

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

A copy of the 2007 COSEWICAssessment and Status Report on Roughhead Grenadier and other information can be found on the SARA Registry at www.sararegistry.gc.ca.

References

COSEWIC. 2007.  COSEWICassessment and status report on Roughhead Grenadier Macrourus berglax in Canada.  Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.  Ottawa. x + 48 pp. (available at www.sararegistry.gc.ca).


Questionnaire:  Your comments are important!

The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain your comments on adding Roughhead Grenadier to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as Special Concern. 

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 Roughhead Grenadier as Special Concern 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 Roughhead Grenadier on your activities, your community, your culture, the environment, and the economy?

 




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

 




4. Do you have any other comments on the listing of Roughhead Grenadier as Special Concern 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.