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MESA: Pelagic Shelf Rockfish

ABL Home
Marine Ecology & Stock Assessment
Stock Assessment
Pelagic Shelf Rockfish:
Fishery & Assessment
Surveys & Field Studies
Marine Ecology
Program Activities:
Longline Survey Data
Longline Survey Data
Reports & Activities
Dusky rockfish as seen from Delta submersible
Dusky rockfish as seen from Delta submersible.
Dusky (top) and dark (bottom) rockfish
Dusky (top) and dark (bottom) rockfish.

The pelagic shelf rockfish assemblage in the Gulf of Alaska is comprised of four species: dusky rockfish (Sebastes variabilis), dark rockfish (S. ciliatus), yellowtail rockfish (S. flavidus), and widow rockfish (S. entomelas). Gulf-wide, dusky rockfish are the most abundant species in the assemblage, whereas yellowtail, dark, and widow rockfish make up a very small proportion of the biomass in Alaska waters. Dusky rockfish range from southern British Columbia north to the Bering Sea and west to Hokkaido Island, Japan, but appear to be abundant only in the Gulf of Alaska. Adult dusky rockfish are concentrated on offshore banks and near gullies on the outer continental shelf at depths of 100 to 200 m. Like many rockfish in Alaska, dusky rockfish are long-lived and have been aged as old as 76 years.

Widow, yellowtail, and dark rockfish are found throughout the Gulf of Alaska but not in large numbers. These species tend to be concentrated in nearshore areas and near offshore banks on the continental shelf. Stock assesments for this assemblage are prepared annually and contain information regarding the biology, fishery, and stock status.

Chris Lunsford
Auke Bay Laboratories
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries

Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute
17109 Pt Lena Loop Rd
Juneau AK 99801


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