• Norway redfish

Latin name

Sebastes viviparus

Other names

Small redfish, lesser redfish, Norway haddock, ocean perch, rosefish, petite sebaste, Kleiner Rotbarsch, Kiistenrotbarsch.


The body is large and covered with ctenoid scales. The head is large with numerous spines. It has large eyes and a moderately large mouth, which is terminal, oblique and retractable.  The symphysial tubercle is small.

Features of fish fins

The dorsal fin is long with 14-16 barbed and 12-15 soft rays. The anal fin has 3 barbed and 6-8 soft rays. The caudal fin is rounded. There are 30-33 scales on the lateral line. There are 29-31 vertebrae.

Fish colouring

The body and head are bright red with a brownish tinge to the sides. The belly is slightly paler. The upper part of the body has three transverse dark brown stripes. There is a large dark brown spot on the posterior edge of the gill cover.


Widespread in the north-eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. Found off the coasts of Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Faroe Islands, north of Iceland. Common in the North Sea. Rare in the English Channel and off eastern Greenland. They live near the coast at depths of 10-300m, more commonly at depths of 50-150m.


Marine benthic fishes. They live near the coast at depths of 10 to 300 m, more often at depths of 50-150 m. Of all the Atlantic species, the most thermophilic form.


Maximum body length 35 cm. Maximum weight 1000g.


Norway redfish stay in schools over rocky ground and move closer to shore during the summer months. 

Food and feeding habits

Feeds on small crustaceans and juvenile fish.


They grow very slowly and do not reach sexual maturity until 10-15 years of age when they reach a length of 15-20 cm. Live-bearing fish with internal fertilisation. After mating, sperm are retained inside the female for several months until the eggs are fertilised. The eggs hatch inside the female and the larvae emerge in summer. Fecundity is 10,000 to 30,000 larvae, depending on the size of the female. Larvae are 3-4 mm long when hatched.


They are of limited commercial importance. They are caught as by-catch in other demersal fisheries.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scorpaeniformes
Family Scorpaenidae
Genus Sebastes
Species S. viviparus
Conservation status No information
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 1
Maximum length, cm 35
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Norway redfish

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