Canada-U.S. Species at Risk Working Group (SARWG)


The Species at Risk Working Group (SARWG) is one of several advisory groups established by the Canada-U.S. Steering Committee. This working group serves as an informal forum to identify opportunities and develop proposals for joint action on common concerns related to species at risk. The working group is comprised of managers and scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Maritimes Region and the Greater Atlantic Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries).


The SARWG focuses primarily on issues related to candidate and listed aquatic species at risk that are of common concern to Canada and the U.S. in the Gulf of Maine. The working group will investigate and evaluate options for:

  • coordinated assessments of candidate and listed species under the Species at Risk Act and Endangered Species Act;
  • complementary threat mitigation strategies to recover species of common concern; and
  • collaborative recovery planning.

Canada-U.S. Maritimes and Greater Atlantic Region Species at Risk Matrix

For copies of most recent matrixes in Atlantic Canadian Waters and Atlantic U.S. Waters, please contact DFO Maritimes Region SARA office:

Phone: 1-866-891-0771 or

Canada-U.S. Maritimes and Greater Atlantic Region Species at Risk Collaboration Opportunities

The Species at Risk Working Group compared the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) to the United States' Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) and developed matrixes that identify potential areas of collaboration between Canada and the U.S. For example, under the ESA, Canada could become more involved in the recovery planning process for transboundary species by participating in recovery planning teams. The U.S. also conducts monthly species-specific conference calls (e.g. right whales) and Canadian representatives were welcomed to participate. The working group also identified other opportunities for collaboration in their respective countries' processes.

Comparison of Canada-U.S. legislation and Summary of Canada-U.S. collaboration


The SARWG has six core members:

  • Co-chairpersons (2): one Canadian and one U.S. representative.
  • Management (2): one Canadian and one U.S. representative.
  • Science (2): one Canadian and one U.S. representative.

Points of Contact

Donald Humphrey
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maritimes Region
Tel: (902) 222-3877

Jean Higgins
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region
Tel: (978) 282-8475