Coordinate initiatives relating to aquatic invasive species and priority vectors of introduction

Context and project description

Over the years, several invasive exotic species have been introduced in Quebec by way of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Whether it be plants or animals, there are hundreds of these species, the introduction of which outside their natural range is a threat to the environment, the economy or society. Some, such as the zebra mussel or the common water reed, are well-known and studied. Others remain to be discovered or documented.

Since 2005-2006, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has evaluated the risks related to the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and their vectors of introduction or modes of entry, i.e. how they have been allowed to enter. To date, the choice of species and vectors retained for these evaluations has been based on consultations held by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the National Aquatic Invasive Species Committee (NAISC). The St. Lawrence Action Plan project aims to add stakeholders to this initiative by including Quebec government departments, as well as organizations such as Stratégies Saint-Laurent, ZIP committees and groups of university researchers. Some of these groups are already involved in the field in research and identification of AIS.


This project focused on coordination between the federal and provincial departments responsible for the fight against aquatic invasive species (AIS). In 2013, a status of AIS for part of the estuary and for the Gulf of St. Lawrence was published. It identifies a number of AIS, such as green algae (Codium), green crab, Japanese skeleton shrimp, star tunicate and sea vase tunicate. A fact sheet on freshwater and marine AIS is currently being written.

Participating departments

Government of Canada

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Government of Quebec

  • Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
  • Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation