Inhabit oceanic and coastal areas, but mainly on the continental shelf (Ref. 1371). Although often classified as demersal, the distribution and behavior suggest a largely pelagic existence (Ref. 1371). Adults live in large schools in waters overlying the continental shelf and slope except during the spawning season when they are found several hundred miles seaward (Ref. 1371). A nocturnal feeder (Ref. 6885) that feed on a variety of fishes and invertebrates (Ref. 1371). Important prey for sea lions and small cetaceans (Ref. 2850); also prey of dogfish (Ref. 11384).