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Shortraker Rockfish Research in Alaska

Shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis) ranges from southeastern Kamchatka, north into the Bering Sea, through the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska, and south to southern California. The center of abundance appears to be Alaskan waters.

Orange fish at the bottom of the seafloor swimming

Very large shortraker rockfish in the laboratory.

Shortraker rockfish attains the largest size of allĀ Sebastes, with a maximum reported total length of 120 cm.

Little is known about the life history of shortraker rockfish.

Genetic techniques have been used recently to identify a few post-larval shortraker rockfish from samples collected in surface waters far offshore in the Gulf of Alaska, which is the only documentation of habitat preference for this life stage.

Few specimens of juvenile shortraker rockfish <35 cm fork length have ever been caught in the Gulf of Alaska, so information on this life stage is virtually unknown.

Adults are concentrated in a narrow band along the 300-500 m depth interval of the continental slope.

Much of this habitat is steep and difficult to trawl in the Gulf of Alaska. Observations from a manned submersible indicate that shortraker rockfish seem to prefer steep slopes with frequent boulders.

Shortraker rockfish is believed to be one of the longest-lived of all fish in the northeast Pacific, and some individuals may reach a maximum age >120 years.

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