Species Profile

Bocaccio

Scientific Name: Sebastes paucispinis
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Pacific Ocean
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2013
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Quick Links: | Taxonomy | Photo | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Other Protection or Status | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Bocaccio

Bocaccio Photo 1

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Taxonomy

The Bocaccio is one of about 35 species of rockfish (Sebastes spp.) found in the waters off British Columbia. Other common, or market, names include Rock Salmon, Salmon Rockfish, Pacific Red Snapper, Pacific Snapper, Oregon Red Snapper, Oregon Snapper, and Longjaws.

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Description

Adult Bocaccio range in colour from olive-orange to burnt-orange or brown on the back and pink to red on the stomach. The most distinctive feature of this fish is its long upper jaw, which extends at least as far as the eye socket. Young fish less than 25 cm long are light bronze with small brown spots on their sides. Their colour darkens and their spots disappear as they mature. The Bocaccio is one of the largest of the rockfish. It typically reaches 64 to 74 cm in length; however, 91-cm-long females and 75-cm-long males have been found.

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Distribution and Population

The Bocaccio is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. In Canada, it is present along the outer Pacific Coast, where it is caught by commercial trawlers fishing for other species. The largest catches in British Columbia come from the northwest coast of Vancouver Island and Queen Charlotte Sound. The inshore distribution of the Bocaccio is less well understood because most commercial groundfishing in British Columbia is done on the outer Pacific Coast, near the edge of the continental shelf. It is known, however, to occur in some inlets and in the Strait of Georgia. Some fishers have said that they found Bocaccio in the area of the Strait in the 1970s, but not in the 1990s. Off the west coast of Vancouver Island, Bocaccio numbers have declined an estimated 95% from 1980 to 2000. There may also be a decline in the Strait of Georgia, but more data are needed. In American waters to the south, abundance appears to have declined by 99% over the last 20 years. The abundance of Bocaccio in Canadian waters is poorly understood because of its relatively low commercial importance.

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Habitat

For the first few months of the year, young fish live near the surface. From late spring through the summer, they settle together in near-shore areas with bottom depths of 30 to 120 m. Adults are found over a variety of bottom types — most commonly over depths of 60 to 340 m — but are still considered semi-pelagic (tending to prefer the upper layers of the open sea).

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Biology

The Bocaccio, like all rockfish, is ovoviviparous — eggs hatch inside the female’s body and she gives birth to live young. Mating occurs in early fall; however, fertilization is delayed within the female’s body and the larvae undergo much of their development there before being released. In British Columbia waters, the young are usually released in the winter, when they are 4 to 5 mm long. Large females produce more eggs than smaller ones, with egg numbers ranging from 20 000 to 2 300 000. The young move out into the upper layers of the ocean over several months, after reaching a size of 19 to 40 mm. They grow rapidly and can reach 24 cm by the end of their first year. They are thought to be mature at 4 to 5 years of age, and to have a maximum lifespan of 40 years; however, there is some evidence that they can live as long as 50 years. Studies indicate that the Bocaccio is mobile for the first few years of its life, becoming more sedentary after reaching a length of about 47 cm. Freshly hatched Bocaccio eat primarily plankton (such as small crustaceans and copepods), later switching mainly to fish. Rockfish is one of the preferred fish of both juveniles and adults, but adults will also eat sablefish, anchovies, lantern fish, and squid. Bocaccio adults are themselves food for Harbour Seals and Northern Elephant Seals, while the juveniles are eaten by seabirds.

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Threats

The largest known threat to the Bocaccio is commercial fishing. Fishers trawling for other species accidentally catch this species - which usually results in death for individuals caught in waters greater than 20 m. The Bocaccio’s swim bladder cannot accommodate the rapid change in pressure, and the fish die as they are brought to the surface. Recreational fishing could have a more significant impact as that fishery turns more toward groundfish.

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Other Protection or Status

The Bocaccio is listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the World Wildlife Fund.

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

12 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Bocaccio Sebastes paucispinis in Canada (2002)

    Bocaccio is one of over 35 species of rockfish found in marine waters off British Columbia (B.C.). It is distinguished from other rockfish (Sebastes spp.) by its large jaw. It ranges in colour from olive orange to burnt orange or brown on the back, becoming pink to red on the underside. Other common names for bocaccio include rock salmon, salmon rockfish, Pacific red snapper, Pacific snapper, and Oregon snapper. This report treats all the bocaccio of the BC coast as a single population; there has been no research to address evolutionarily significant units within BC.
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Bocaccio Sebastes paucispinis in Canada (2014)

    Bocaccio is one of at least 39 species of rockfish found in marine waters off British Columbia (BC). It is distinguished from other rockfish (Sebastes spp.) by its long upper jaw. There are two demographic clusters of Bocaccio, one centred on the west coast of British Columbia and another centred on central/southern California. However, genetic studies fail to find population differentiation along the Pacific coast. This report treats all the Bocaccio of the BC coast as a single population.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement – Bocaccio (2015)

    This species is a long-lived rockfish with a maximum age for females in Canada of 52 years and a generation time of 20 years. Its life history makes it susceptible to overfishing. The current assessment has benefited from increased population information that covers the entire distribution in Canada and extends much further into the past. The population has been in continuous decline for 60 years and it has declined by 28% in the 10-year period since it was first assessed by COSEWIC. New surveys initiated since the last assessment indicate that these recent declines have occurred in areas of highest biomass off the west coast of Vancouver Island and in Queen Charlotte Sound. Fishery bycatch has been reduced but remains the main threat to the population.
  • Response Statements - Bocaccio (2007)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2010)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2005) (2005)

    The Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of 12 aquatic species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2011)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (2006)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2003 (2003)

    May 2003 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2013-2014 (2014)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to "assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species". COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2013 to September, 2014) from November 24 to November 29, 2013 and from April 27 to May 2, 2014. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 0 Endangered: 23 Threatened: 12 Special Concern: 20 Data Deficient: 0 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 56 Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 25 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Consultation Documents

  • Species at Risk Act - Legal Listing of Aquatic Species, Pacific Region - Consultation Workbook (2004)

    Your opinion is being sought to assist the government of Canada in making an informed decision on whether to add any or all of the following 10 aquatic species to the Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species include: Blue Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Enos Lake Stickleback, Speckled Dace, Salish Sucker, Cultus Lake Sockeye, Interior Fraser Coho, Sakinaw Lake Sockeye, and Bocaccio. Your input on the impacts of adding these species to the List is important. This workbook has been developed to give you an opportunity to provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada with your feedback, advice, and other comments regarding adding the above mentioned 10 species to Schedule 1 of SARA (Schedule 1 identifies which species are legally protected under SARA).