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Sebastes babcocki is a species of fish in the rockfish family known by the common name redbanded rockfish. Other common names include bandit, barber pole, flag rockfish, Spanish flag, hollywood, convict, and canary. It is native to the northern and eastern Pacific Ocean. Its distribution extends from the Zhemchug Canyon in the Bering Sea and the Aleutians south to San Diego, California.
This fish reaches up to 64 centimeters in length. Its maximum recorded weight is 4.4 kilograms, and the mean weight is roughly 1.3 kilograms. It is white, pink, or red in color with four vertical red or orange bars, the first one running from the front of the dorsal fin to the pectoral fin and the fourth one at the base of the tail. These bars fade as the fish grows larger. The head is spiny. The fins may have darkened edges or a black tinge.
This long-lived fish has been reported to reach 106 years old. The time it takes to reach maturity varies widely, often by geography. A fish off California might be mature at age 3, while an individual off British Columbia might take 19 years to mature. Size at maturity varies from 23 to 42 centimeters, with males maturing at smaller sizes than females.
This marine fish lives at ocean depths from 49 to 625 meters, with most between 150 and 350 meters. It can be found on soft seabed, but it also lives on muddy, pebbly, and rocky substrates, sometimes using rocks for cover. It is often solitary but it may join small groups.
This species has some importance in commercial fisheries, particularly in the northern half of its range. In 1995, 280 tons were caught by longline off British Columbia. Often, though, this fish is taken as bycatch during trawling operations targeting other species, such as the yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus) and halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis). Bycatch of this species in trawls off the coast of British Columbia well exceeded 1,000 tons in 1992. It has dropped below 300 tons per year since then due to better monitoring.
This fish is host to a number of parasitic copepods, including Chondracanthus pinguis, C. triventricosus, Clavella parva, Colobomatus kyphosus, Naobranchia occidentalis, Peniculus asinus, and Neobrachiella robusta.
- Froese, R. and D. Pauly, Eds. Sebastes babcocki. FishBase. 2011.
- Common names of Sebastes babcocki. FishBase.
- Redbanded rockfish (Sebastes babcocki). Alaska Fisheries Science Center. National Marine Fisheries Service. NOAA.
- Haigh, R. and P. Starr. (2006). A review of redbanded rockfish Sebastes babcocki along the Pacific coast of Canada: biology, distribution, and abundance trends. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat. Research Document 2006/073. Fisheries and Oceans, Canada.
- Bailly, N. (2013). Sebastes babcocki. In: Froese, R. and D. Pauly, Eds. (2013) FishBase. World Register of Marine Species. Accessed 5 June 2013.