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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Rocky Reefs Habitat (Cold Water Quest)

Range / Habitat

  • Blue rockfish occurs in the Eastern Pacific from Vancouver, British Columbia to Northern Baja California, Mexico. Its range may extend to Alaska and the Aleutians.
  • It occurs from the surface to about 1,800 feet (550 m). When near the surface, it generally is found over shallow reefs and around kelp beds.
  • Juvenile is pelagic.
  • This species is reported to form schools, sometimes with other kinds of rockfish.

Physical Characteristics

  • Blue rockfish can reach a length of about 24 inches (61 cm) and weights of about 8.4 lbs. (3.8 kg). It is reported to live 44 years.
  • Dark blue with lighter blue mottling and lighter coloring ventrally.

Diet / Feeding

  • Feeds mainly on krill and will also consume tunicates, jellies, small fish and algae.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Like most members of the genus Sebastes, is viviparous, with the female giving birth to very large numbers of planktonic larvae in late winter.
  • Larvae remain planktonic for several weeks.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.
  • Rockfish species traditionally face conservation difficulties due to their value as a food fish conflicting with their reproduction rates.
    • Many rockfish are harvested before they reproduce at all – the long-lived species take a correspondingly longer time to reach sexual maturity.
    • Rockfish stocks crashed in the 20th century and have only recently started recovering thanks in part to increased regulations.

Additional Information

  • Large aggregations of blue rockfish occur in mid-water.
  • The dorsal and anal spines of this fish are mildly venomous.
  • This species is a popular sport fish in California.