Redfish are a slow-growing, deep-sea fish commonly marketed as “ocean perch,” even though it’s not actually a perch. It’s a rockfish that live in large schools deep in the ocean. Redfish live in the cold waters of the North Atlantic at depths of up to 3,300 feet (1,000 metres). They are incidentally caught while fish harvesters catch halibut and haddock.
Redfish, as their name suggests, are bright red or orange-red in colouring and have large eyes, a short body and gaping mouth. On average, they weight between 1.3 to 4.4 pounds (0.6 to 2 kg) and have firm, white fillets. Redfish first became popular as a substitute for freshwater yellow perch, which is why it is often called “ocean perch.”
Redfish are viviparous, which means that the eggs are fertilized internally and the fish are born alive and free swimming. Mating generally occurs in September or October, and the young are born sometime between April and July. The young are tiny at birth and swim freely in the surface waters until they reach an inch long (25 mm), at which time they move into deeper waters over rocky and muddy bottom. From that point on, redfish are slow growing and long-lived, commonly living to be about 40 years old. During the first six to seven years, males and females grow at about the same rate, but afterwards the growth of males slows. Thus, females are larger at any given age than males. Redfish reach sexual maturity at eight to 12 years of age.
Bottom Longline with Hooks
This fishery uses a bottom longline that is baited with hooks and anchored to the ocean floor. A longline can be from 1 to 3 miles (1.6 to 5 km) long and have up to 2,000 hooks.
This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is dragged along the seafloor to catch fish. As the net is towed at low speed, hydrodynamic forces push two "otter boards" outwards opening the mouth of the net and capturing fish in its path.