Redfish (Acadian & Deepwater) | Oceana Canada

Canadian Marine Life Encyclopedia

Redfish (Acadian & Deepwater)

Sebastes fasciatus (Acadian) & Sebastes mentella (Deepwater)

Also known as

Atlantic redfish, redfish, rosefish, beaked redfish, ocean perch


Northern Atlantic


Rocky bottoms

Feeding Habits

Active predator

Conservation Status

Special concern/threatened/Endangered


Order Scorpaeniformes (scorpionfishes & flatheads); Family Sebastidae


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Acadian and Deepwater redfish are so similar in appearance that they are frequently lumped together as one species, particularly in the commercial fishery. There are also accounts of breeding across species, producing hybridized redfish. Redfish are called “ocean perch,” although they are not perch at all. This name arose during the 1930s when there was a shortage in freshwater yellow perch due to overfishing, at which time fish harvesters began substituting red fish fillets, similar in colour and texture and half the price. 

Redfish spawn in the fall and winter, typically from September to December, producing young through “ovoviviparous” reproduction. This means that eggs are fertilized inside the female, where they grow and hatch. Females release the larvae in late spring and early summer. The larvae drift along currents with other plankton, before becoming juveniles and settling on the seafloor. Redfish are very slow-growing, reaching sexual maturity at 8 to12 years, and are long-lived, with an average life span of 45 to 65 years. They eat a variety of small crustaceans, cephalopods and small fish that can be found along the ocean floor.