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.
Canary rockfish (French: sébaste canari) (Sebastes pinniger) is one of 102 species of the genus Sebastes, of which at least 36 species are present in B.C. waters. Canary rockfish have been managed in B.C. waters as two principal stocks: a southern or west coast of Vancouver Island stock and a central, or Queen Charlotte Sound stock north of Vancouver Island. Although there is evidence for a biogeographical boundary at the north end of Vancouver Island, which could be considered a boundary between northern and southern populations of canary rockfish, this report treats canary rockfish as a single designatable unit in B.C. waters. Fishers report that canary rockfish are abundant in more northern areas, particularly off the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands; but landings from these areas have been limited owing to the lack of trawlable ground. The B.C. population probably overlaps to some extent with U.S. populations.
A comparatively large (maximum weight 5.7 kg), orange-yellow fish that typically inhabits rocky bottoms at 70-270 m depths from the western Gulf of Alaska south to northern California. Its late maturity (13 years for females), long maximum lifespan (84 years), and long generation time (20-30 years) are characteristic of species that are slow to recover following population decline. The species is treated as a single designatable unit. Two surveys in the southern part of its Canadian range, considered the most reliable indicators of population trend, show abundance index declines of 78% and 96% over 30 years and 17 years respectively. Survey indices from the northern part of the range and commercial catch per unit effort indices show no consistent trends but are of relatively short duration and are in some cases based on methods which do not adequately sample areas inhabited by the species. There is uncertainty due to high variability in the various index series (characteristic of trawl surveys) and the unknown degree to which abundance trends in the southern part of the Canadian range reflect abundance trends throughout the species’ range in Canadian waters. Fishing is the most likely cause of the observed decline. Changes to management since 1995 include 100% observers or video monitoring coverage and implementation of individual transferable quotas, which are expected to improve control of fishing. Rescue from contiguous populations to the south is unlikely given that current abundance in the US is estimated at 5-10% of unfished levels, and rescue from populations to the north is uncertain because their status is not well known.
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.