Ocean Perch

Species Information

Ocean perch is closely related to the Pacific rockfish. Once commonly known as redfish, the name was changed in America by fish marketers in the 1930s.

Perch are slow growing, slow moving, schooling fish that are easily caught. Ocean perch are different from other fish because they bear their young live.

Ocean perch primarily live in deeper waters from 82 to 2,700 feet deep. In the summer, adults inhabit shallower depths, between 490 and 980 feet. In the fall, the fish tend to migrate farther offshore from 980 to 1,400 feet. They reside in these deeper waters until about May, when they return to the shallower summer waters.

Adults are associated with both sandy and rocky habitats, as well as habitats that include structure-forming invertebrates, such as corals.

Cooking & Handling

Store fresh ocean perch refrigerated no more than 2 days after purchase. Frozen, they keep 4 to 6 months.

Ocean perch is low in saturated fat and very high in selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.

Though the skin is edible, because of the fish's high oil content, shelf life is diminished if the skin is left on.

Flavors that work well with ocean perch are avocado, basil, butter, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, lemon, mushroom, onions, orange, rice wine, scallion, shallot, sesame, soy sauce, tarragon and tomato.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Fry, Poach, Sauté, Steam

Global Supply

Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, United States

Seasonal Availability

Fresh and frozen available year-round.

Fresh-caught fish are immediately iced on board and are occasionally available, but the majority of the catch is processed into frozen, skin-on fillets for sale, defrosted, in American supermarkets.

Did You Know?

Immature Pacific ocean perch feed throughout the year, but adults only feed seasonally, mostly from April to August.

Adult Pacific ocean perch form large schools that can be almost 100 feet wide, to 260 feet deep, and as much as 4,265 feet long.

Scientific Name

Sebastes marinus

Market Name

Ocean perch

Common Names

Ocean perch, redfish, rosefish, deep-sea perch

Substitutions

Rockfish, snapper, orange roughy

Raw Characteristics

  • vivid orange or red with paler belly
  • small dark, olive-green areas on back under soft dorsal fin
  • white flesh
  • lean meat
  • market weight 1–4 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • delicately flavored
  • slightly sweet
  • opaque white meat
  • flaky, moist
  • medium texture

Pronunciations

French: grande sébaste
German: flachsee-rotbarsch
Italian: sebaste
Japanese: menuke
Spanish: gallineta