D. H. Storer (fr), 1854
The Acadian redfish is colored reddish-orange and can live up to 50 years or more and reach lengths up to 20 in (508 mm). It is very similar in appearance to the deepwater redfish Sebastes mentella. The two species can be distinguished by the number of soft rays in the anal fin, internal examination of the gas bladder, or by genetic testing.
Distribution and habitat
The Acadian redfish is native to the waters of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean and its range extends from Virginia, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia, western Greenland and Iceland. It is found at depths varying between 70 and 500 m (230 and 1,640 ft). It swims near the seabed in areas with clay-silt or rocky bottoms.
The Acadian redfish feeds on a variety of crustaceans, mollusks, and smaller fish. It spawns in the fall to late winter. The species is ovoviviparous, and females release 15,000-20,000 fully formed larvae into the water per season. The Acadian redfish is preyed on by the halibut, the Atlantic cod, swordfishes and harbor seals.
Due to its slow growth rate, low fecundity, harmless nature, tendency to "hit almost any bait," and being considered a great food fish, the redfish has been classified as Endangered by the IUCN since 1996. However, due to conservation efforts, the redfish population has rebounded, and in 2012 the species was described as fully rebuilt, sustainably managed and responsibly harvested under U.S. regulations.
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- Ralph K. Mayo, Jon K. T. Brodziak, John M. Burnett, Michele L. Traver, and Laurel A. Col, "The 2005 Assessment of Acadian Redfish, Sebastes fasciatus Storer, in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Region," Northeast Fisheries Science Center Reference Document 07-06, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (April, 2007).
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