Sea Otter Draft Management Plan - Consultation Summary

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The Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal that was listed as a species of Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) in March 2009; it was previously listed as a Threatened species. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Minister of Environment, responsible for the Parks Canada Agency, are the competent ministers for the Sea Otter in Canadian waters. The Sea Otter resides within the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the central coast of British Columbia, and has been seen within waters administered by the Parks Canada Agency. DFO established a small internal working group of technical experts to develop the initial draft of this Management Plan.  

Letters were sent out to all coastal First Nations whose traditional territories overlap with the Sea Otter’s range soliciting participation in the development of this Management Plan. The draft Management Plan was sent to Parks Canada Agency, Environment Canada, and the Province of British Columbia for review and comment.   

This draft Management Plan was posted to the DFO Pacific Region Consultation website for a public comment period from September 26 – October 29, 2012. The consultation period was primarily web-based, and also included mail-outs of hard copy letters, emails, and faxes to all coastal First Nations soliciting input and feedback on the draft Management Plan as well as an offer for bilateral meetings. Comments were received from the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Upon request, a bilateral was held with the Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’xw Nation. An initial draft of the Management Plan, along with a discussion guide and feedback form, was made available on the website noted above. Notification of this consultation period was also sent by electronic mail to a distribution list of stakeholders and environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), to former Sea Otter recovery team participants, as well as other government agencies.  Four feedback forms were received, including comments from academic, ENGO, and industry representatives. Where appropriate, all feedback received during this consultation period has been incorporated into the final Management Plan.

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