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It's Not Easy Being A Baby Rockfish

Rockfish can reproduce many times. But just because lots of babies are born, it doesn't mean that any of them will survive. Young rockfish need very specific conditions and a lot of luck to make it through their first year. For some species, there were only a few years in the last century when young rockfish survived in any great number.

Little Canary Rockfish

Canary Rockfish

Threats To A Rockfish

Rockfish are easy targets for fishermen, as they naturally don't move far from their home territories. Furthermore, the larger fish are targeted by sports fisheries, but it's the older, larger females who give birth to babies that have the greatest chances of surviving. Also, if a rockfish is accidentally brought up to the surface, its internal organs will suffer fatal damage due to air expansion.

The Role Of Rockfish

Rockfish are an important part of B.C.'s ocean ecosystem. They are food for harbour seals, sea lions and other fish, and help keep the ecosystem in balance by feeding on smaller creatures like shrimps, crabs and smaller fish. Conservation of B.C.'s inshore rockfish species is a serious matter, owing to their slow maturation, longevity and small home territories.

Rockfish
Black rockfish

Rockfish Recovery In
West Vancouver

The Aquarium team has been working to establish black rockfish where they were once abundant along the shoreline of West Vancouver. They had been fished out in the 1960's, but signs are emerging that our black rockfish transplants have successfully bred new generations. We've also observed increasing body sizes as they move into deeper waters.

Be Ocean Wise

You can help rockfish by simply watching what you eat at a restaurant with our Ocean Wise™ program. Rockfish and other fishes commonly go by a different name at a restaurant.

Common Name Restaurant Name
Yelloweye Rockfish Red Snapper
Other Rockfish Rock Cod
Patagonian Toothfish Chilean Sea Bass
Anglerfish Monkfish
Atlantic Cod Whitefish
Skates Raja, or imitation Scallops
Orange Rockfish
Rockfish Conservation Area

Help Prevent Poaching

If you're on the B.C. coast and see someone fishing next to a No Fishing sign, call the number on the sign (1-800-465-4336). The government needs to catch the poacher in the act, so it's important to call immediately. If you can't stay, take photos or videos of the poacher's face, boat name and license number, and location.

Dive Right In With Us

You can also dive right in and help our Vancouver Aquarium scientists keep track of rockfish populations on our annual rockfish survey dives. We're always in need of volunteer divers to collect data which helps us determine rockfish abundance and where we need to petition for new Marine Protected Areas. Contact the dive team at fishlab@vanaqua.org to sign up.

Bright Canary Rockfish
Jellyfish

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