Pacific Ocean Perch

Graphic: Pacific Ocean Perch

Graphic: Pacific Ocean Perch

Latin Name

Sebastes alutus

Group Name


Taxonomy details


Pacific Ocean perch are a species of rockfish native to the Pacific Ocean. Along the west coast of North America they are distributed from California in the south to the Bering Sea in the north, and are often found near the walls of underwater canyons. They inhabit depths ranging from about 40 to 600 metres.

Species Description

Pacific Ocean perch have a short, laterally compressed body that tapers toward their tail starting about midway down their length. They have a large mouth with a protruding lower jaw. They have several sharp dorsal spines immediately followed by a flat dorsal fin and a tail with a slight indent. Pacific Ocean perch are bright red, mixed with blotches of olive. They grow to a maximum length of around 50 centimetres and weigh 0.5-1.4 kilograms. Pacific Ocean perch can live for as long as a century.

Pacific Ocean Perch (Sebastes alutus) dominates the rockfish catch in Canada's Pacific groundfish trawl fishery. This long-lived species, commonly called POP, inhabits the sloping walls of marine canyons along the coast of British Columbia (BC) in association with many other rockfish species. POP has an important economic and cultural impact on smaller BC communities like Prince Rupert.