Latin name

Sebastes mystinus

Other names

Blue seaperch, blue perch, priest fish, black rockfish, black bass, black snapper.


Compared to other members of the Sebastes family, the blue rockfish is relatively smooth and oval in shape, with very few spines on the head.  Vertebrae: 26-27. Faint spinules on head - nasal spinules present, preocular spinules usually present, supraorbital, posterior ocular and tympanic spinules usually absent, coronoid, parietal and occipital spinules absent. Diameter of eyes and mouth small. 

Features of fish fins

Body dense, with large pectoral fins. Profile of anal fin vertical or sloping posteriorly. Caudal fin with a depression. Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-17; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8-10.

Fish colouring

The coloration ranges from blue-black to gray. There are a few darker patches and a pair of stripes angled downward and backward from the eyes. 


Eastern Pacific: northern limit unknown, at least from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada (possibly Aleutian Islands, Alaska) to northern Baja California, Mexico.


Subtropical marine species. Can live near the surface or near the bottom, usually on shallow reefs, but also among algae and on deep reefs. Have been caught at depths of more than 500 m, with most living near the surface, down to 90 m depth. 


Length ranges from 55 to 60 cm and weight up to 3.8 kg. Maximum reported age: 44 years.


Young fish lead a pelagic lifestyle. They form schools, sometimes with other perch. 

Food and feeding habits

Juveniles feed on small crustaceans such as paddlefish and clam larvae (which in some cases have a significant impact on the population), while adults move on to larger species such as free-floating crustaceans, jellyfish, snails, squid, juvenile sea bass, and drifting plant fragments.


Live births.


These fish are interesting as commercial fish and are some of the most common species caught by anglers from boats.

Relationship with a person

Bred in home and public aquariums.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scorpaeniformes
Family Scorpaenidae
Genus Sebastes
Species S. mystinus
Conservation status No information
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 44
Maximum body weight, kg 3,8
Maximum length, cm 60
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Blue rockfish

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