Shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis) is an offshore, demersal species distributed from the southeastern Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, to Fort Bragg, California. It attains lengths greater than one meter (>39 inches) and weights to 20 kg (44 pounds). In the Gulf of Alaska, shortraker rockfish are sampled annually during longline surveys and are most abundant between depths of 300–400 metres (980–1,300 ft).
Commercial harvesting in the Gulf of Alaska began in the early 1960s when foreign trawl fleets were targeting more abundant. In recent years, high catch rates indicate that the domestic trawl fleet targets this species; shortraker rockfish comprised 14.9% of the species composition of slope rockfish harvested in 1990, although trawl survey data indicates they comprised only 2.5% of the biomass.
In 1991, catch limits were established for shortraker rockfish to prevent overharvesting of this species in the Gulf of Alaska. Catch limits are based on biomass estimates derived from bottom trawl catch rates. These biomass estimates are questionable, however, because the catch efficiency of bottom trawls on shortrakers is unknown. Fishermen report that shortrakers school off-bottom and above rugged habitat in steep-slope areas where bottom trawls cannot sample effectively.
In 2007 fishermen caught a specimen that was estimated to be between 90 and 115 years old. It was caught south of the Pribilof Islands at an estimated depth of 2,100 feet (640 m). The oldest recorded shortraker caught was 157 years old.
- Kramer and O'Connell, 1986)
- Sebastes spp
- Heifetz and Clausen, 1991)
- Century-old fish found off Alaska BBC News, 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Photo in the News: Century-Old Fish Caught in Alaska National Geographic, 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2007-04-07
- Joling, Dan (2007-04-06). "Fishermen catch big, old Alaska rockfish". Yahoo! News (Yahoo! Inc.). Archived from the original on 2007-04-08. Retrieved 2007-04-09.