Rockfish conservation areas: You can protect British Columbia’s tiger and other inshore rockfish

Inshore rockfish species live on rocky and glass sponge reefs, do not swim far from their home reefs, and many can live over 100 years! They are very susceptible to overfishing.

Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs) help protect declining populations of British Columbia’s inshore rockfish species from fishing mortality.

Most fishing activities, including recreational halibut and salmon fishing, are prohibited in all 164 RCAs

The only permitted fishing activities are:

Recreational

Indigenous Peoples’ Food, Social, and Ceremonial (FSC)

Commercial

Protecting fragile habitat

Some RCAs overlap with Glass Sponge Reef Conservation Areas that prohibit all bottom contact fishing activities (including prawn, shrimp and crab fishing). Fishing gear and boat anchors can destroy these fragile rockfish habitats. To learn more visit: Canada.ca/glass-sponge-closures

Inshore rockfish species

Rockfish About

Yelloweye Rockfish
(Sebastes ruberrimus)

Up to 91 cm. Yellow-orange to orangey-red to dark red with bright yellow eyes. Juveniles red with 2 light stripes.

Quillback Rockfish
(Sebastes maliger)

Up to 64 cm. Dark brown to black speckled with pale areas on the head and below the high, spiny, and deeply notched dorsal fin. Freckles on head and/or throat, particularly as juveniles.

Copper Rockfish
(Sebastes caurinus)

Up to 66 cm. Brown to copper with pink or yellow blotches. Pale stripe along lateral line on the last 2/3 of the body.

China Rockfish
(Sebastes nebulosus)

Up to 45 cm. Black body, speckled with yellow and white. Yellow stripe down dorsal fin and back along the lateral line.

Tiger Rockfish
(Sebastes nigrocinctus)

Up to 61 cm. Pink, white to brownish-red body with 5 dark red or black vertical bands and 2 bands radiating from eyes.

Black Rockfish
(Sebastes melanops)

Up to 69 cm. Bluish-black, elongated body with black speckles, a white or grey belly and white or grey blotches between the dorsal fin and the lateral line.

Interesting facts about rockfish and rockfish conservation areas

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