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Bluntnose Sixgill Shark and Tope Shark Management Plan

Consultation Summary

Illustration: Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Mud Shark) 
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus). Illustration credit: DFO
The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) and Tope Shark (Galeorhinus galeus) are listed as species of special concern on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Minister of Environment, responsible for the Parks Canada Agency, are the competent minister for the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark and Tope Shark in Canadian waters. Both species migrate throughout the coast of the Province of British Columbia and 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 recovery strategy.

Illustration: Tope Shark (Soup Fin Shark) 
Tope (Soup fin) Shark (Galeorhinus galeus). Illustration credit: DFO
Letters were sent out to all coastal First Nations soliciting participation in the development of this Management Plan. Given that both populations considered in this document migrate through Canadian and U.S. waters, bilateral government and nongovernment input and collaboration was sought. The draft management plan was sent to Parks Canada Agency, Environment Canada, and the Province of British Columbia for review and comment.

 In January 2011, a technical workshop was held to seek comments and inputs on the draft management plan, and ensure the document incorporated the best technical and scientific expertise on these species. Participants included scientific and technical experts from DFO, Parks Canada Agency, academia, the fishing industry, and environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs). Participants assisted in the prioritization of the threats, current research, knowledge gaps, management goals, objectives, actions and implementation schedule.

The draft management plan was posted to the DFO Pacific Region Consultation website for a public comment period from May 10 to June 13, 2011. This consultation was primarily web-based, and included mail-outs of hard copy letters, emails, and faxes to all coastal First Nations soliciting input and feedback on the draft Management Plan. No comments on the document were received by First Nations. An initial draft of the management plan, along with a discussion guide and feedback form, was made available on the internet. Notification of this consultation period was also sent by electronic mail to a distribution list of stakeholders and ENGOs; technical workshop participants; government agencies; as well as several Departmental advisory committees including the Groundfish Integrated Advisory Board (GIAB), Halibut Advisory Board (HAB), Sablefish Advisory Committee (SAC), Groundfish Trawl Advisory Committee (GTAC), and the Groundfish Hook & Line Advisory Committee (GHLAC). Four feedback forms were received, including comments from the academic and recreational diving companies. Where appropriate, all feedback received during this consultation period has been incorporated into the final management plan.