Consultation check-in on 14 aquatic species under consideration for addition or reclassification to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act

As the competent minister for aquatic species at risk, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard provides advice to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on whether or not to list aquatic species at risk under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The Minister of Environment and Climate Change then makes a recommendation to the Governor in Council (GiC), who makes the decision on whether or not to add species to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1) of SARA. Results from consultations are a key consideration in the development of the listing advice and recommendations to the GiC.

The 14 aquatic species listed below were assessed as at-risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) between 2009 and 2016. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) undertook consultations with Indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and other interested parties on the potential addition or reclassification of these species to Schedule 1 of SARA between 2010 and 2020. To ensure the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard takes into account current opinions in her listing advice, DFO is inviting interested parties to confirm their previous positions or offer additional information that the Minister might consider in finalizing her advice.

Species under consideration for addition to Schedule 1 of SARA

Basking Shark (Atlantic population)

Darkblotched Rockfish

Smooth Skate (Laurentian-Scotian population)

Spiny Dogfish (Atlantic population)

North Pacific Spiny Dogfish

Thorny Skate

Little Quarry Lake Benthic Threespine Stickleback

Little Quarry Lake Limnetic Threespine Stickleback

River Darter (Great Lakes – Upper St. Lawrence populations)


Smooth Skate (Funk Island Deep population)

Winter Skate (Eastern Scotian Shelf- Newfoundland population)

Winter Skate (Gulf of St. Lawrence population)

Warmouth (Reclassification – currently listed as Special Concern on Schedule 1)

Subject to any exceptions that may be granted under the Act, once a wildlife species is added to Schedule 1 of SARA:

This consultation check-in period is open for 60 days, ending on May 22, 2023. To participate, please submit comments by email to, or by mail to the following address. In your submission, please clearly identify which species your comments are referring to.

Director, Governance, Listing and Emerging Priorities
Species at Risk Program
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6

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