Cost, and not threat status, governs the listing of imperiled fishes in Canada. In fact, if it costs anything at all to protect marine fish then they won’t be be listed under the Species at Risk Act. That’s according to new research published in the Marine Policy Journal.

Jessica Schultza, Emily Darling and Isabelle Côté from the Simon Fraser University found that threatened aquatic species were less likely than terrestrial species to be listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), and marine species less likely than freshwater species.

The likelihood of being listed decreases with the cost of protection. But no thought appears to be given to the huge future costs of not protecting the marine fish.

Arguments in support of freshwater fish protection are used against marine fish protection and there is a lack of transparency in the listing process for fishes in Canada.

Further reading:
What is an endangered species worth? Threshold costs for protecting imperilled fishes in Canada Original Research Article
Marine Policy, Volume 42, November 2013, Pages 125-132
Jessica A. Schultz, Emily S. Darling, Isabelle M. Côté


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