COSEWIC Assessments

COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Deepwater Redfish/Acadian Redfish complex Sebastes mentella and Sebastes fasciatus

Assessment Summary – April 2010

Common name
Deepwater Redfish - Gulf of St. Lawrence - Laurentian Channel population

Scientific name
Sebastes mentella

Status
Endangered

Reason for designation
As with other members of the family Sebastidae, this species is long-lived (maximum age about 75 yr), late-maturing (generation time 18 yr), and highly vulnerable to mortality from human activities. Recruitment is episodic, with strong year-classes only occurring every 5-12 years. Abundance of mature individuals has declined 98% since 1984, somewhat more than one generation, and the decline has not ceased. Directed fishing and incidental harvest in fisheries for other species (bycatch) are the main known threats. Harvesting in parts of this population (Gulf of St. Lawrence) is currently limited to an index fishery, but commercial fisheries remain open in other areas (Laurentian Channel). Bycatch in shrimp fisheries has been substantially reduced since the 1990s by use of separator grates in trawls, but could still be frequent enough to affect recovery.

Occurrence
Atlantic Ocean

Status history
Designated Endangered in April 2010.

Assessment Summary – April 2010

Common name
Deepwater Redfish - Northern population

Scientific name
Sebastes mentella

Status
Threatened

Reason for designation
As with other members of the family Sebastidae, this species is long-lived (maximum age about 75 yr), late-maturing (generation time 23 yr), and highly vulnerable to mortality from human activities. Recruitment is episodic, with strong year-classes only occurring every 5-12 years. Abundance of mature individuals has declined 98% since 1978, somewhat over one generation. However, declines have stopped since the mid-1990s and increases have been observed in some areas. Directed fishing and incidental harvest in fisheries for other species (bycatch) are the main known threats. Fisheries in parts of this designatable unit are currently closed, but remain open in other areas. Bycatch in shrimp fisheries has been substantially reduced since the 1990s by use of separator grates in trawls, but could still affect population recovery.

Occurrence
Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean

Status history
Designated Threatened in April 2010.

Assessment Summary – April 2010

Common name
Acadian Redfish - Atlantic population

Scientific name
Sebastes fasciatus

Status
Threatened

Reason for designation
As with other members of the family Sebastidae, this species is long-lived (maximum age about 75 yr), late-maturing (generation time 16-18 yr), and highly vulnerable to mortality from human activities. Recruitment is episodic, with strong year-classes only occurring every 5-12 years. Abundance of mature individuals has declined 99% in areas of highest historical abundance over about two generations. However, since the 1990s, there has been no long-term trend in one area, and trends have been stable or increasing in other areas where large declines have been previously observed. Directed fishing and incidental harvest in fisheries for other species (bycatch) are the main known threats. Fisheries in parts of the range of this designatable unit (DU) are currently closed, but remain open in other areas. Bycatch in shrimp fisheries has been substantially reduced since the 1990s by use of separator grates in trawls, but could still be frequent enough to affect population recovery.

Occurrence
Atlantic Ocean

Status history
Designated Threatened in April 2010.

Assessment Summary – April 2010

Common name
Acadian Redfish - Bonne Bay population

Scientific name
Sebastes fasciatus

Status
Special Concern

Reason for designation
As with other members of the family Sebastidae, this species is long-lived (maximum age about 75 yr), late-maturing (females 50% mature at 8-10 yr in the adjacent Gulf of St. Lawrence/Laurentian Channel population), and highly vulnerable to mortality from human activities. Little is known of the biology of this designatable unit (DU). It has a small range of occurrence but there is no indication of decline. The population has been exploited by fishing in the past, but is currently closed to directed fishing. This DU is susceptible to extirpation by random events such as oil spills.

Occurrence
Atlantic Ocean

Status history
Designated Special Concern in April 2010.

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Contact Person(s)

COSEWIC Secretariat
c/o Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0H3
Tel: 819-938-4125
Fax: 819-938-3984
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