Rockfish

Rockfish

Bocaccio rockfish, © Amadeo Bachar

At a glance

Eco-rating Mercury Omega-3s
+-Rockfish (hook and line)
OK
Moderate
No additional information
+-Yellowtail rockfish
Improving
Moderate

MORE ABOUT YELLOWTAIL ROCKFISH

The yellowtail rockfish inhabits rocky reefs or sloping shores and likes to hide amid cracks and crevices on the sea floor. The fish has yellowish-green fins, grows to over 2 feet (61 cm) and can live to over 50 years.

Commercial Sources

Yellowtail rockfish are found in the eastern North Pacific, from Alaska to San Diego, California.

The main source of yellowtail rockfish is the United States.

Capture Methods

Yellowtail rockfish come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with trawls. Additional types of fishing gear include hooks-and-lines and nets.

+-Bocaccio
Improving
Moderate

MORE ABOUT BOCACCIO

Bocaccio, a rockfish species, dwells amid the rocky reefs of the eastern Pacific. It grows to nearly 3 feet (0.9 meter) and is reported to live up to 30 years. It is highly depleted and perhaps endangered.

Commercial Sources

Bocaccio are found in the eastern North Pacific, from Alaska to Baja California in Mexico.

The main source of bocaccio is the United States.

Capture Methods

Bocaccio come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with trawls. Additional types of fishing gear include hooks-and-lines, nets and traps.

+-Rockfish (trawl)
Improving
Moderate
No additional information
+-Canary rockfish
Improving
Moderate

MORE ABOUT CANARY ROCKFISH

The canary rockfish is bright mottled yellow to orange with a gray background. Instead of laying eggs, this venomous fish gives birth to live young. It can grow to 2.5 feet (76 cm) and live up to 19 years.

Commercial Sources

Canary rockfish are found in the eastern North Pacific, from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California in Mexico.

The main source of canary rockfish is the United States.

Capture Methods

Canary rockfish come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with trawls. Additional types of fishing gear include hooks-and-lines, nets and traps.

+-Widow rockfish
Improving
Moderate

MORE ABOUT WIDOW ROCKFISH

As its name implies, the rockfish hovers along rocky reefs or steep shorelines. This goldish-brown fish is most active at night. It reaches 2 feet (61 cm) length.

Commercial Sources

Widow rockfish are found in the eastern North Pacific, from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California in Mexico.

The main source of widow rockfish is the United States.

Capture Methods

Widow rockfish come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with trawls. Additional types of fishing gear include hooks-and-lines, nets and traps.

+-Yelloweye rockfish
Improving
Moderate

MORE ABOUT YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH

The grandfather of rockfish, the yelloweye can live over a century. With bright yellow eyes and black-tipped fins, this fish is orange-red to orange-yellow in color. Like its rockfish relatives, it likes rocky reefs. It can grow to nearly 3 feet (0.9 meter).

Commercial Sources

Yelloweye rockfish are found in the eastern North Pacific, from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California in Mexico.

The main source of yelloweye rockfish is the United States.

Capture Methods

Yelloweye rockfish come from marine fisheries, not fish farms. They are primarily caught with handlines and trawls.

Recommended servings per month

Contaminant Men Women Kids 6-12 Kids 0-5
Yellowtail rockfish Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Bocaccio Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Rockfish (hook and line) Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Rockfish (trawl) Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Canary rockfish Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Widow rockfish Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Yelloweye rockfish Mercury 4+ 4+ 3 2
Eco details: 
  • Rockfish are caught from California to Alaska, however many species are depleted because of historical fishing pressure and the fact that rockfish grow slowly and take many years before they reproduce.
  • Rockfish from British Columbia and Alaska are more abundant.
  • In California, Oregon and Washington, rockfish are now managed under an innovative new ‘catch share’ management plan. Bycatch is down 75%, and conservative catch quotas have limited the catch of overfished species. Additionally, an innovation boom in gear design and fishing behavior has helped trawlers avoid bycatch hotspots and keep sensitive rockfish out of nets.