Boccacio

Boccacio (Sebastes paucispinus) as seen in our Coastal Waters exhibit.

Bocaccio are elongated fish with large mouths and few or no spines on their head. They tend to be brown or reddish-brown on the back, pink or brown on the sides and silvery on the bellies. Some individuals also have a grey to silvery grey coloration. The Bocaccio can be identified from most other rockfish species by their elongate body and their large, upturned mouth. Like other rockfish, Bocaccio can be very long-lived, with some specimens reaching up to 50 years in age. Most Bocaccio can be found slowly cruising along the bottom. Young ones eat fishes, particularly juvenile rockfishes. Adults consume fish and squid. Marine mammals such as harbor seals and elephant seals are major predators of this species. Bocaccio are also an important sport and commercial fish along much of the eastern Pacific. They are taken by party and private vessels, as well as trawls, gill nets and hook-and-line commercial fisheries.


Range & Habitat

Bocaccio can be found from Stepovak Bay, Alaska to central Baja, California. They are most abundant from British Columbia southward. They inhabit a wide range of habitats, but are primarily found over hardy and rocky bottoms and occasionally over mud and sand. During upwelling events, the large specimens may move closer to the surface, following the cold currents.


Conservation Status

Common.

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