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Learn about Acadian redfish

Acadian redfish are small fish found in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Read on to learn more about this fish.

Appearance

  • Acadian redfish grow up to 16 inches long. They are red to red-orange but fade to a slightly lighter red on the belly. Their fins have a brighter red color than the body.
  • Acadian redfish have thick bodies and large eyes and mouth. They have spiny skin on their belly, as well as a spiny dorsal fin. They also have large pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins, as well as a square caudal fin.
redfish tow

Acadian redfish facts

  • Species name: Sebastes fasciatus
  • Acadian redfish are similar to blackbelly rosefish and golden redfish.
  • Acadian redfish prey on:
    • Crustaceans
    • Mollusks
    • Small fishes
  • Acadian redfish predators include:
    • Atlantic cod
    • White hake
    • Silver hake
    • Little skates
    • Monkfish
    • Bluefish
    • Wolffish
  • Little is known about where and when redfish breed, but it is thought that late fall to early winter is the mating season of Acadian redfish. Eggs are incubated and hatched inside the female. The eggs are fertilized in the spring and then released from late spring to August. A female can produce 15,000 to 20,000 larvae in a single year.
  • The young Acadian redfish don't settle on the bottom until they are around 2 inches long.
  • Acadian redfish reside near rocky, muddy, or clay covered bottoms. Redfish prefer the deeper waters of the Gulf of Maine and are often found in depths ranging from 500 to 900 feet.
  • Commercial fishermen usually use otter trawls to catch Acadian redfish. 
  • Acadian redfish grow slowly and can live up to 58 years of age. Fishing in the 1930s and 1940s led to a decline in the size of the population. However, the population has increased in recent years due to sustainable fisheries management. The redfish population in US waters is currently at healthy levels. 
  • MA Division of Marine Fisheries manages the Acadian redfish fishery within 3 miles of shore. Past 3 miles the fishery is regulated by NOAA Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council.
  • You can catch Acadian redfish with your favorite lure or bait, as they tend to hit anything.
  • The meat of Acadian redfish can be substituted for haddock or other groundfish species.
  • Acadian redfish range from New Jersey to Iceland, and are commonly found along the coast of Eastern Canada, Georges Bank, and the Gulf of Maine.
Redfish distribution map

Additional Resources for Acadian redfish facts

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