The six assessments for Atlantic Cod (Arctic population), Bocaccio Rockfish, Cusk, Habour Porpoise (Norwest Atlantic population), Shortjaw Cisco and Lake Winnipeg Physa are being returned to COSEWIC based on several factors including lack of clarity regarding speciation or definition of the designable unit, incomplete use of available abundance and distributional information and questions regarding the suitable incorporation of abundance and distributional information. For the Arctic population of Atlantic Cod, the assessment is missing Aboriginal traditional knowledge and does not clearly differentiate between landlocked and marine Arctic Cod stocks. For Bocaccio, two scientific assessments subsequent to that by COSEWIC reported a different species abundance; there is also a lack of confidence in the strength of the data used to support the COSEWIC assessment. In the case of Cusk, the assessment placed significant emphasis on trawl survey data that may have exaggerated the decline in abundance of Cusk. For Harbour Porpoise (Northwest Atlantic population), the assessment has combined three sub-populations of Harbour Porpoise although it is acknowledged that there is insufficient information to estimate the abundance of two of the sub-populations. The assessment for the Lake Winnipeg Physa is based on a scientific paper that has not been peer reviewed and does not adequately define whether the physa is a distinct species or a variant of a much more abundant species found elsewhere. The assessment for the Shortjaw Cisco lacks Aboriginal traditional knowledge and also applies a single designable unit when there is insufficient information to do so.
COSEWIC will be asked to review and respond as to whether appropriate and clear speciation and definition of designable units has been used for Atlantic Cod (Arctic population), Shortjaw Cisco, Harbour Porpoise (Northwest Atlantic population) and the Lake Winnipeg Physa, whether there has been appropriate use of available abundance data and distributional information for Bocaccio, Cusk, Harbour Porpoise (Northwest Atlantic population) and the Lake Winnipeg Physa and whether Aboriginal traditional knowledge has been duly considered in the case of Atlantic Cod (Arctic population) and the Shortjaw Cisco.
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