The black rockfish has quite the lifespan, living up to 50 years.
  • Size

    25 inches (63.5 cm)
  • Diet

    Smaller fish, benthic crustaceans and mollusks
  • Range

    Eastern Pacific
  • Habitat

    Near rocky reefs in shallow water

Physical Characteristics

  • Black rockfish can reach a length of about 25 inches (63.5 cm) and weigh about 11 lbs. (5 kg). It is reported to live up to 50 years.
  • This species is dark grey to black with light grey mottling and lighter coloring ventrally.

Animal Fact

The dorsal and anal spines of the black rockfish are mildly venomous.

Diet / Feeding

  • Feeds mainly on smaller fish, benthic crustaceans and mollusks. It will also eat planktonic crustaceans.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Eastern Pacific from Amchitka Island, the Aleutians and Alaska to Baja California and Mexico.
  • Found from the surface up to about 1,200 feet (366 m) deep; near rocky reefs in shallow water and over deep banks in open water.
  • Adults live both on and above the bottom, while the juvenile is pelagic.
  • This species is reported to form schools.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Black rockfish, like most members of the genus Sebastes, is viviparous, with the female giving birth to very large numbers of planktonic larvae.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • The dorsal and anal spines of this fish are mildly venomous.
  • Young of this species are important prey for other fishes, marine mammals and birds.
  • Black rockfish are excellent food fish and a popular sport fish in Alaska, where it is known as “black bass.”


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