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. 

In 2010, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed all four Canadian redfish populations as at risk: one population of Acadian redfish as Special Concern, one population of Acadian redfish and one population of Deepwater redfish as Threatened and one population of Deepwater redfish as Endangered. Each of these populations have had population declines of around 98 per cent since the late 1970s to early 1980s. Unfortunately, none of the populations have been listed under the Species At Risk Act (SARA), in spite of these significant declines in abundance. Under the Precautionary Approach Framework by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, two populations of redfish in Canada have been assessed as Critical, two populations have been assessed as Healthy, and one population has been assessed as Unknown.

Oceana Canada is working to protect Canada’s oceans for species like the redfish. Find out more about our campaigns and join us in helping to bring abundance back to the ocean.