How long do they live? Silvergray rockfish live up to 82 years old [1] and likely longer, but this species is greatly underappreciated.

Where are they found? Silvergray rockfish inhabit the Gulf of Alaska down to the Gulf of Oregon from 330 to 990 feet deep [2]. At least this is where they were once caught in trawls most often.

What do they eat? This may be the least researched fish so far. The eating habits of Silvergray rockfish have not been studied, but they likely enjoy krill and smaller fish.

What do they look like? They can grow to over 2 feet long and weigh more than 10 pounds [3]. See figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1. Silvergray rockfish
Figure 2. Sebastes brevispinis are also sometimes called grouper or snapper, but they are very much rockfish.

How do they reproduce? This species is ovoviviparous, which means they keep eggs stored internally and give live birth [3]. There is no information available regarding the life history or reproductive senescence of this species.

How do scientists know how old they are? Otolith annuli counts.

So what are we lacking? Pretty much everything. Any information about this species would be considered useful. There is no information about the nuclear genome of the Silvergray rockfish available online. All we have is this giant blank canvas just waiting to be painted with the story of this long-lived rockfish. Please let me know if you’d like to contribute some paint.

Conservation status: This species has not been evaluated and population numbers are unknown.

  1. Cailliet, G. M., et al. “Age determination and validation studies of marine fishes: do deep-dwellers live longer?.” Experimental gerontology 36.4 (2001): 739-764.
  2. Love, Milton S., Mary Yoklavich, and Lyman K. Thorsteinson. The rockfishes of the northeast Pacific. Pages 138-139. Univ of California Press, 2002.
  3. Sebastes brevispinis. Accessed 1/22/2017.