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Alaska Rockfish

February 19, 2020


Red Banded Alaskan Rockfish


Unless you live in the Northwestern United States or Western Canada, you've likely never had the opportunity to taste rockfish. Sometimes ignored because of their boney nature, Alaskan Red banded Rockfish is a delicious seafood that goes perfectly in stews, ceviche, or grilled and served whole. 


Red banded rockfish is a rare treat due to its habitat out in deep waters and solitary nature. Don't pass up an opportunity to eat this rare and delicious fish. 

Keep reading to learn more about Alaskan Rockfish and watch this video where we discuss our Alaskan rockfish fillets and their limited-time availability. 


Our variety of red banded rockfish has a phenomenal flavor and cooks up into beautifully formed flakes. Our Alaska rockfish fillets arrive frozen over dry-ice to guarantee a fresh-caught flavor and texture. 

Don't miss out on the opportunity to order our Alaskan Rockfish fillets now! 

What Is Rockfish

Rockfish are a rare type of fish that are commonly caught by accident while fishing for other types of fish varieties such as pacific cod or halibut. Rockfish tend to hide in deep waters around and under rocks for protection while hunting for small shrimp and crab to eat. A long-lived fish species, the oldest caught rockfish, was said to be approximately 200 years old. Some varieties live longer than others, but rockfish don't reach maturity or breeding age sometimes until around 25-30 years old. 


Native to the deep waters off of the west coast of the United States and Canada, Alaskan waters host around 36 different species of rockfish. Fisheries divide rockfish up into two categories: pelagic and non-pelagic. 

Pelagic Rockfish:  Pelagic Rockfish are moderately long-lived fish and tend to live until about 30-45 years old, although some can live longer. Pelagic rockfish tend to swim in schools in more open waters. These types of rockfish sustain their populations much better than non-pelagic rockfish. 

Types of Rockfish (Pelagic): Usually range from 7-30 years old. 

  • Black rockfish: Dark grey or black with a white belly. Can grow up to 25 inches long
  • Dusky rockfish: Brown colored body with a white belly and pink or orange fins. Found in deeper waters. It can grow up to 20 inches. 
  • Yellowtail rockfish: Olive green to brown colored fish with green/yellow fins. It can grow up to 26 inches long. 
  • Widow Rockfish: A thinner species of rockfish with a light brown or brass colored body. It can grow up to 23 inches long. 
  • Blue Rockfish: Blue or black colored fish with blue striping around the head. It can grow up to 21 inches long. Not typical to Alaskan waters. 
  • Brown Rockfish: Most common in shallower waters, this fish has a brown or dark blue colored body with a lighter belly. This fish can grow up to 20 inches. 
  • Bocaccio Rockfish: Mostly found off the coasts of Oregon and Northern California, this is one of the larger species of rockfish. The Bocaccio rockfish can reach up three feet in length and live up to 45 years. 


Non-Pelagic Rockfish: Non-pelagic rockfish are solitary fish that tend to hide in deep waters by the ocean floor. Many times, non-pelagic rockfish use rocky sea beds to stay safe. Non-pelagic rockfish tend to be accidental catches while fishers are fishing for other species of fish. Alaskan laws strictly limit the number of non-pelagic rockfish fishers are allowed to catch. Exceeding bag numbers requires that fishers release non-pelagic rockfish. 


Non-pelagic rockfish tend to sustain injuries when brought up from the depts of the ocean floors due to pressure changes in their non-venting swim bladders. Fishers are encouraged to be prepared to release non-pelagic rockfish at proper depths as most cannot survive surface release. 


Types of Rockfish (Non-pelagic): A long-lived fish than can reach upwards of 100 years old, most commonly caught between 15-75 years old. 

  • Quillback Rockfish: This fish has a brown body with splashes of orange and yellow. The quillback rockfish has long spines on a tall dorsal fin. It can grow up to 24 inches long. 
  • Silvergray Rockfish: This fish has a silver/grey body and a white belly. The silvergray rockfish's lower jaw will grow out past its upper jaw. It can grow up to 28 inches. 
  • Copper Rockfish: This fish is brown to copper in color with splashes of pink or yellow. The dorsal fins of a copper fish are cooper brown to black. It can grow up to 22 inches. 
  • Tiger Rockfish: The body of this fish is light pink with dark red stripes. The tiger rockfish fish can grow up to 24 inches long. 
  • Yelloweye Rockfish: An orange to red-colored fish with a bright yellow eye. This fish can grow up to 36 inches long. 
  • China Rockfish: This fish has mostly black body with white splashes and a bright yellow stripe. This fish can grow up to 17 inches long. 
  • Rougheye Rockfish: The longest-lives species of rockfish famous for a row of spines below its eyes, this fish can reach up to 38 inches in length. 
  • Shortraker Rockfish: The second longest-lived rockfish species, this species of rockfish can reach up to 39 inches long. 

Red Banded Rockfish:

The red banded rockfish is a delicious species of rockfish native to Alaskan waters. The rockfish is challenging to catch and native to deep waters, making it rare delicacy when available. 

Red Banded Rockfish Habitat

The habitat for rockfish can vary depending on the type. Red banded rockfish tend to live solitary lives hiding in the rocky sea beds off of the coast of Alaska. Red-banded rockfish are native to the Pacific Ocean. Rockfish are a wild-caught variety of fish that you won't find in stores outside of the North-western United States. Rockfish freezes well in fillets or whole. When available, you can order rockfish online. 

More About Rockfish: 

Alaskan waters are home to upward of 36 different kinds of rockfish, including the red-banded rockfish. The red banded rockfish can live past 100 years old. Most red banded rockfish reach maturity anywhere from 3 to 19 years old. Maturity can vary depending on the fish's habitat in the ocean. Alaskan red banded rockfish are typically found alone, but they are known to join small groups during breeding. 

Given Alaskan restrictions and fishing limits on red banded rockfish, this fish is available at limited times throughout the year. 

Red-banded rockfish don't reach breeding age until around 5-7 years old. Some females don't begin breeding until up to 25 years old. To sustain populations of the late-maturing rockfish species, Alaskan fish regulators limit the bag numbers for red-banded rockfish. Catch and release methods don't typically help to support rockfish populations. Rockfish tend to suffer fatal injury when caught due to their non-venting swim bladders and pressure changes while coming up from deep oceans. Catch and release is not an efficient method to preserve rockfish populations. 

Other Names for Rockfish:

These Pacific rockfish are also commonly called bandit fish, barber pole fish, flag rockfish, Spanish flag fish, Hollywood, convict fish, or canary rockfish. 

Red Banded Rockfish Nutrition:

Rockfish are high in omega-3s and low in fat. One 4oz rockfish fillet has 21 grams of protein. Rockfish are high in vitamin D and potassium. Eating rockfish regularly during the winter months can help combat seasonal affective disorder due to the high amounts of vitamin d. 

Rockfish Calories: One 4oz portion of rockfish fillet has only 104 calories per serving. 

What Does Rockfish Taste Like?

Rockfish is known for its larger flakes and versatile flavor. Rockfish tastes slightly sweet yet still mild like most white fish varieties. Rockfish can easily take on many flavor profiles and be used in virtually any white fish recipe. When cooked, rockfish fillets flake into large tender flakes. 

How to Cook Rockfish

There is no one best way to cook rockfish. Rockfish fillets can take virtually any cooking method. Rockfish cooks up quickly and doesn't take long to prepare for weekday meals for you and your family. 

Rockfish fillet recipes can be grilled, baked, steamed, broiled, pan seared, or eaten as sushi. The bones in red banded rockfish are easily found and removed for eating. Rockfish can take on many different flavors, and you can substitute rockfish in almost any white fish recipe. 

When cooking rockfish, it's essential to check the internal temperature of the fish as the leanness of the fish lends itself to overcooking. Most recipes for rockfish call for a final internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Rockfish Recipes

  • Blackened rockfish 
  • Panko-crusted (oven-fried) rockfish 
  • Fried Rockfish
  • Baked rockfish almandine
  • Pan-seared rockfish with fresh herbs
  • Grilled garlic-herbed rockfish
  • Rockfish with lemon butter and sage. 
  • Portuguese-style baked rockfish. 
  • Alaskan rockfish tacos. 

If given a chance to order Alaskan rockfish, there is no best rockfish recipe. Rockfish is a strong contender for most versatile fish, given its ability to take on many different flavors and cooking methods. Cooking rockfish is as simple as a few minutes under the broiler for a quick and healthy weekday meal. Alaska rockfish is excellent in stews and other more complex fish recipes as well. 

Alaska rockfish are not always available, so take this opportunity to order your rockfish today. Shipped over dry ice to guarantee it arrives still frozen, our products are guaranteed to satisfy even landlocked seafood lovers. 


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