Sebastes is a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

 in the family Sebastidae
Sebastidae is a family of marine fish in the order Scorpaeniformes. Their common names include rockfishes, thornyheads and rockcods. Despite the latter name, they are not closely related to the cods in the genus Gadus, nor the rock cod, Lotella rhacina.Not all authorities recognise this family as...

 (though some include this in Scorpaenidae), most of which have the common name of rockfish. Most of the world's almost 110 Sebastes species live in the north Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

, although two (S. capensis and S. oculatus) live in the south Pacific/Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and four (S. fasciatus, S. marinus, S. mentella and S. viviparus) live in the north Atlantic. The coast off South California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 is the area of highest rockfish diversity
Species richness
Species richness is the number of different species in a given area. It is represented in equation form as S.Species richness is the fundamental unit in which to assess the homogeneity of an environment. Typically, species richness is used in conservation studies to determine the sensitivity of...

, with 56 species living in the Southern California Bight
Southern California Bight
The Southern California Bight includes coastal southern California, the Channel Islands and part of the Pacific Ocean.Within the Southern California bight lie the traditional territories of the Chumash and the Gabrieliño. These two cultures are considered the epitome of hunter-gatherer complexity...


The fossil record of rockfish goes back to the Miocene
The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about . The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell. Its name comes from the Greek words and and means "less recent" because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene...

, from California and Japan (although fossil otolith
An otolith, , also called statoconium or otoconium is a structure in the saccule or utricle of the inner ear, specifically in the vestibular labyrinth of vertebrates. The saccule and utricle, in turn, together make the otolith organs. They are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration...

s from Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, "Sebastes" weileri, may push the record back as far as the Oligocene
The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene Period and extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present . As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the period are slightly...


Rockfish range from the intertidal zone
Intertidal zone
The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide . This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals like starfish, sea urchins, and some species of coral...

 to almost 3000 metres (9,842.5 ft) deep, usually living benthically on various substrates, often (as the name suggests) around rock outcrops. Some rockfish species are very long lived, amongst the longest living fish on earth, with a maximum reported age of 205 years for S. aleutianus (Cailliet et al. 2001).

Rockfish are an important sport and commercial fish, and many species have been overfished. As a result seasons are tightly controlled in many areas.


  • Sebastes aleutianus (Rougheye rockfish)
  • Sebastes alutus (Pacific ocean perch)
  • Sebastes atrovirens (Kelp rockfish)
  • Sebastes auriculatus (Brown rockfish)
  • Sebastes aurora (Aurora rockfish)
  • Sebastes babcocki (Redbanded rockfish or barber pole)
  • Sebastes baramenuke
  • Sebastes borealis (Shortraker rockfish)
  • Sebastes brevispinis (Silvergray rockfish)
  • Sebastes capensis
    Sebastes capensis
    The false jacopever or Cape redfish is a marine fish belonging to the family Sebastidae. Found only in waters off the western coast of South Africa, Tristan da Cunha and southern South America, S. capensis lives in depths of . It reaches up to in length, and is reddish or brownish with 5-6 pale...

    (False jacopever)
  • Sebastes carnatus (Gopher rockfish)
  • Sebastes caurinus (Copper rockfish)
  • Sebastes chlorostictus (Greenspotted rockfish)
  • Sebastes chrysomelas
    Sebastes chrysomelas
    Sebastes chrysomelas, commonly known as the black-and-yellow rockfish, is a marine fish species of the family Sebastidae. It is found in rocky areas in the Pacific off California and Baja California. Although it is similar in appearance to the...

    (Black-and-yellow rockfish)
  • Sebastes ciliatus (Dusky rockfish)
  • Sebastes constellatus (Starry rockfish)
  • Sebastes cortezi (Cortez rockfish)
  • Sebastes crameri (Darkblotched rockfish)
  • Sebastes dallii (Calico rockfish)
  • Sebastes diploproa (Splitnose rockfish)
  • Sebastes elongatus (Greenstriped rockfish)
  • Sebastes emphaeus (Puget Sound rockfish)
  • Sebastes ensifer (Swordspine rockfish)
  • Sebastes entomelas
    Sebastes entomelas
    The starry rockfish is a type of rockfish that lives mainly off the coast of western north America from Alaska to Baja California. This fish is also commonly called widow, widowfish, and red snapper.-Description:...

    (Widow rockfish)
  • Sebastes eos (Pink rockfish)
  • Sebastes exsul (Buccaneer rockfish)
  • Sebastes fasciatus (Acadian redfish)
  • Sebastes flammeus
  • Sebastes flavidus
    Sebastes flavidus
    The Yellow tail rockfish is a type of rockfish that lives mainly off the coast of western North America from California to Alaska. This fish is also commonly called red snapper and yellow tail.-Description:...

    (Yellowtail rockfish)
  • Sebastes gilli (Bronzespotted rockfish)
  • Sebastes glaucus
  • Sebastes goodei
    Sebastes goodei
    The Chilipepper is a type of rockfish that lives mainly off the coast of western North America from Baja California to Vancouver. This fish is also commonly called red snapper and yellow tail.-Description:...

  • Sebastes helvomaculatus (Rosethorn rockfish)
  • Sebastes hopkinsi (Squarespot rockfish)
  • Sebastes hubbsi
  • Sebastes ijimae
  • Sebastes inermis (Mebaru, Black rockfish)
  • Sebastes iracundus
  • Sebastes itinus
  • Sebastes jordani (Shortbelly rockfish)
  • Sebastes joyneri
  • Sebastes kawaradae
  • Sebastes koreanus
  • Sebastes lentiginosus (Freckled rockfish)
  • Sebastes levis
    Sebastes levis
    The cowcod, Sebastes levis is a member of the Sebastidae family. In Greek, Sebastes means “magnificent,” and levis is Latin for “capricious” or "fantastic".-Distribution and biology:...

  • Sebastes longispinis
  • Sebastes macdonaldi (Mexican rockfish)
  • Sebastes maliger (Quillback rockfish)
  • Sebastes marinus (Ocean perch)
  • Sebastes matsubarae
  • Sebastes melanops (Black rockfish)
  • Sebastes melanosema (Semaphore rockfish)
  • Sebastes melanostomus (Blackgill rockfish)
  • Sebastes mentella (Deepwater redfish)
  • Sebastes miniatus
    Sebastes miniatus
    Sebastes miniatus is a species of rockfish known by the common names vermilion rockfish, red snapper, and red rock cod. It is native to the waters of the Pacific Ocean off western North America from Baja California to Vancouver Island....

    (Vermilion rockfish)
  • Sebastes minor
  • Sebastes moseri (Whitespeckled rockfish)
  • Sebastes mystinus (Blue rockfish)
  • Sebastes nebulosus (China rockfish)
  • Sebastes nigrocinctus (Tiger rockfish)
  • Sebastes nivosus (Snowy rockfish)
  • Sebastes norvegicus
  • Sebastes notius
  • Sebastes oblongus
  • Sebastes oculatus (Patagonian redfish)
  • Sebastes ovalis (Speckled rockfish)
  • Sebastes owstoni
  • Sebastes pachycephalus (Murasoi)
  • Sebastes paucispinis (Bocaccio)
  • Sebastes peduncularis
  • Sebastes phillipsi (Chameleon rockfish)
  • Sebastes pinniger (Canary rockfish)
  • Sebastes polyspinis (Northern rockfish)
  • Sebastes proriger (Redstripe rockfish)
  • Sebastes rastrelliger (Grass rockfish)
  • Sebastes reedi (Yellowmouth rockfish)
  • Sebastes rosaceus (Rosy rockfish)
  • Sebastes rosenblatti (Greenblotched rockfish)
  • Sebastes ruberrimus (Yelloweye rockfish)
  • Sebastes rubrivinctus (Flag rockfish)
  • Sebastes rufinanus (Dwarf-red rockfish)
  • Sebastes rufus (Bank rockfish)
  • Sebastes saxicola (Stripetail rockfish)
  • Sebastes schlegeli (Schlegel's black rockfish)
  • Sebastes scythropus
  • Sebastes semicinctus (Halfbanded rockfish)
  • Sebastes serranoides (Olive rockfish)
  • Sebastes serriceps (Treefish)
  • Sebastes simulator (Pinkrose rockfish)
  • Sebastes sinensis (Blackmouth rockfish)
  • Sebastes spinorbis
  • Sebastes steindachneri
  • Sebastes swifti
  • Sebastes taczanowskii
  • Sebastes thompsoni
  • Sebastes trivittatus
  • Sebastes umbrosus (Honeycomb rockfish)
  • Sebastes variegatus (Harlequin rockfish)
  • Sebastes varispinis
  • Sebastes ventricosus
  • Sebastes viviparus (Norway redfish)
  • Sebastes vulpes
  • Sebastes wakiyai
  • Sebastes wilsoni (Pygmy rockfish)
  • Sebastes zacentrus (Sharpchin rockfish)
  • Sebastes zonatus
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