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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Longest Lived Fish - Rougheye Rockfish

The Rougheye Rockfish (Sebastes aleutianus) are probably among the longest-lived marine fishes on Earth, living as old as 205 years. The rougheye is also known as the blackthroat or blacktip rockfish in the fishing industry. The name rougheye refers to the 2-10 spines that are common along the lower rim of their eyes, though some have been known not to have these spines.

Most of the fishing for this commercially-important species occurs between northern Washington State and the Bering Sea, although some fishing is done off Oregon and in the Kamchatka area. Bottom trawl and longline are the primary fishing methods used. The rougheyes are occasionally caught in recreational fisheries.

The rougheye is also identified by appearing pink, tan, or brownish with loose patches of brown or bronze when viewed underwater. A darker blotch usually appears on the rear of the operculum, and the posterior area of the lateral line is often pinkish in color. These fish are bright red or pink with black or gray patches after capture. These fish usually grow to 32 in. (80 cm), and have been reported as large as 38 in. (97 cm). Males and females are thought to be of similar lengths at any given age

The rougheye's range extends from San Diego to the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea to the Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan. They are found in depths of 25 meters and as deep as 2,830 meters. The rougheye live in water temperatures ranging from 0.3° up to 4.9° C. They are found near the sea floor around caves, crevices, and steeply sloped boulder fields surrounded by soft substrata. Their diet consists primarily of pandalid shrimp, while they also feed on crab and fish.

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