Rockfish (Sebastes sp.)

A rockfish hangs out with soft corals at the carbonate Pinnacle deposit at Southern Hydrate Ridge. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/WHOI. V20.

These orange or red rockfish are a common sight at Southern Hydrate Ridge (~780 meters water depth), often resting on and around the carbonate outcrops and gas hydrate grottos that form at this active methane seep site. Sebastes species are highly variable in form, but these are elongate and moderately compressed, with a large head and very large eyes. Rockfish are found in the temperate North and South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and range from the intertidal zone to almost 3,000 m (9,800 ft) deep, usually living benthically on various substrates. They may be among the longest-living fish on earth, with several species known to surpass 100 years of age.