Quillback Rockfish

Sebastes maliger

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

The Quillback rockfish is one of more than 35 species of rockfish occurring in the coastal waters of British Columbia. Adult Quillback rockfish are primarily brown with yellow to orange anterior blotches, and light coloured dorsal saddle patches that extend into the first dorsal fin. Their heads may be speckled with orange and brown dots, which extend ventrally to just past the pectoral fins. On average, females tend to be larger and older than males and can reach a maximum length of 50 cm. Quillback rockfish are viviparous, which means they fertilize their eggs internally and release live offspring. Mating occurs in December and release of larvae occurs between March and July. Quillback rockfish have been aged up to 95 years in British Columbia.

Habitat

Quillback rockfish are found coast wide in British Columbia. They have been observed in depths from 16 m to 182 m over substrates that are hard, complex and include surface features such as broken rock, rock reefs, ridges and crevices. Juvenile rockfish typically settle around near-shore hard bottom habitats at shallower depths.

Threats

Fishing is the principle known threat to Quillback rockfish in British Columbia. Other factors that make this species vulnerable to human activities include:

  • Late maturation
  • Slow growth
  • Periodic strong recruitment (i.e. introduction of young fish into the fishery) dependent on favourable environmental factors.

The species is particularly vulnerable to commercial and recreational fishing because of its inshore habitat and high desirability, including the potential to supply live specimens to markets.

Further Information

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has implemented strong management measures for the groundfish fishery in British Columbia, including 100% at-sea and dockside monitoring, significant reductions in commercial Total Allowable Catch (TAC), recreational bag limit reductions and designation of 164 Rockfish Conservation Areas protecting 20-30% of rockfish habitat coastwide.

Species at Risk (SARA) Public Registry Profile.

Quillback Rockfish

Quillback Rockfish

© Neil McDaniel

Scientific name: Sebastes maliger
SARA Status: No Status
COSEWIC Status: Threatened (November 2009)
Regions: British Columbia, Pacific Ocean

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