Acadian Redfish (Atlantic population)

Sebastes fasciatus

SARA Status
No Status
NS
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

SARA Status

  • No Status NS
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX
COSEWIC Status
Not at Risk
NR
Special Concern
SC
Threatened
TH
Endangered
EN
Extirpated
EX

COSEWIC Status

  • Not at Risk NR
  • Special Concern SC
  • Threatened TH
  • Endangered EN
  • Extirpated EX

Description

Acadian Redfish range in colour from bright orange to red and have spiny rays. They are characterized by their protruding lower jaw, large eyes, and the bony spines that cover their gills. They reach sexual maturity very late, and abundant generations are only observed every 5 to 12 years. Distinctive characteristics of Redfish are their slow growth and long lifespan; they can live up to 75 years.

Habitat

Acadian Redfish are almost exclusively found within Canadian Atlantic waters. They live primarily along continental slopes and in deep channels, from 150 to 300 metres. There are two Acadian Redfish populations: Atlantic and Bonne Bay. Acadian Redfish from the Atlantic population can be observed as far as Baffin Island.

Acadian Redfish are ovoviviparous, meaning that females keep their fertilized eggs inside their bodies until the larvae have hatched. Larvae prefer surface waters, where they feed on copepods and fish eggs, while adults live in cold, deep waters where they prey upon other fish.

Threats

Fishing and bycatch in other fisheries such as the Northern Shrimp fishery are the main threats to the survival and recovery of this population. It is estimated that the Atlantic population of Acadian Redfish has declined 99% in abundance since the late 1970s, except on the Scotian Shelf where it seems to have remained stable. The commercial Redfish fishery is prohibited in some areas of this population’s distribution, but is allowed in some sectors.

Further Information

The Atlantic population of the Acadian Redfish has been designated as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Public consultations regarding the addition of this population to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk were held from November 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014. The Governor-in-Council's listing recommendation will published in the Canada Gazette Part I (Government of Canada newspaper where laws and regulations are published).

Visit the Species at Risk (SARA) Public Registry.

Commercial fisheries

Research Documents

Acadian Redfish (Atlantic population)

Illustration of a redfish. Illustration: DFO

Illustration: DFO

Scientific name: Sebastes fasciatus
SARA Status: No Status
COSEWIC Status: Threatened (2010)
Regions: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island

Photo of a school of Redfish. Photo credit: DFO: R. Larocque

Photo credit: DFO: R. Larocque

Acadian Redfish, Atlantic population as described in the following paragraphs.

This map shows the location of the Atlantic population of Acadian Redfish. This population is found along most of Canada’s Atlantic coast, from Baffin Island to the Scotian Shelf, as well as in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Did You Know?

Acadian Redfish are ovoviviparous, meaning that females keep their fertilized eggs inside their bodies until the larvae have hatched.