Commonly caught by recreational harvesters off the northern Washington coast.
|4.19 lbs||Steven Ripley||Duncan Rock||July 11, 1989|
Description and Range
The body of the China rockfish is blue or black in color, mottled with yellow and some white. A very obvious yellow stripe, starting on the dorsal fin at about the third spine and running into and along the lateral line, is characteristic. The head spines are thick and the parietal ridges are very high and thick. This species has a relatively small mouth.
China rockfish can grow up to 45 cm (18 in) in length. Maximum age is at least 79 years old.
China rockfish are found from Kechemak Bay, Cook Inlet, Alaska, to San Nicolas Island in southern California. They are found at water depths between 3 and 128 m (10-420 ft). This is a solitary species inhabiting high-energy, high-relief rocky outcrops with numerous crevices. They are very territorial and rarely move less than 10 m (33 ft) from their home site.
Sensitivity to climate change
The main sensitivity of China rockfish to climate change is likely to stem from changes to their prey base. Warmer ocean conditions could lead to decreases in prey (e.g., zooplankton) for both juveniles and adults, prompting decreases in adult fecundity and juvenile survival. Additionally, nearshore habitat loss due to sea level rise could impact juvenile survival, as juveniles tend to use nearshore habitat as nursery and foraging area. Deepwater coral habitat, which many adult rockfish use, may also decrease due to acidification, further reducing available habitat. Decreased oxygen levels may have direct physiological effects on China rockfish, leading to higher levels of mortality across various life stages. Due to their long life cycles and generation times, adults may be able to persist through short term pulses of negative ocean conditions (e.g., years with warmer sea surface temperature), though conversely, their low productivity could make it difficult for populations to recover from climate-related declines.
Exposure to climate change
- Increased ocean temperatures
- Sea level rise
- Declines in pH
- Decreased oxygen