Deepwater Redfish (Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population)

Sebastes mentella

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

Deepwater 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

Deepwater Redfish are found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They live primarily along continental slopes and in deep channels, from 350 to 500 metres. In Canadian waters, there are two Deepwater Redfish populations: Northern, and Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel. The latter population can be observed as far as the Scotian Shelf.

Deepwater 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

The directed fishery is still the main threat to the survival and recovery of this population, except in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where it is prohibited since 1995. It is estimated that the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population of Deepwater Redfish has declined in abundance by 97% since 1984. Deepwater Redfish are also caught as bycatch in other fisheries, such as the Northern Shrimp fishery.

Further Information

The Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population of Deepwater 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) and on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

Deepwater Redfish (Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population)

Illustration of a redfish

Illustration: DFO

Scientific name: Sebastes mentella
SARA Status: No Status
COSEWIC Status: Endangered (2010)
Regions: Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward island

Deepwater Redfish, Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population as described in the following paragraphs

This map shows the location of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel population of Deepwater Redfish. This population is observed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the Scotian Shelf, up to the continental slope.

Photo of a school of Redfish

Photo credit: DFO: R. Larocque

Did You Know?

The Gulf of St. Lawrence and Laurentian Channel Deepwater Redfish can be found as far as the Saguenay Fjord.

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