Species Profile

Bocaccio

Scientific Name: Sebastes paucispinis
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Pacific Ocean
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2013
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


Go to advanced search

Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Bocaccio

Bocaccio Photo 1

Top

Description

Bocaccio is one of at least 35 species of rockfish (Sebastes spp.) found in British Columbia. Adults can be olive-orange to brown in colour. When less than 25 centimetres in length, young Bocaccio are light bronze with small brown spots on their sides. Their colour darkens and their spots disappear as they grow. These fish can be distinguished from other rockfish by their long lower jaw. Bocaccio is one of the largest rockfish species and can reach almost one metre in length. Other common names for Bocaccio include: Rock Salmon, Salmon Rockfish, Pacific Red Snapper, Pacific Snapper, Oregon Red Snapper, Oregon Snapper, and Longjaw. (Updated 2017/08/29)

Top

Distribution and Population

Bocaccio are found in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, occurring from the Gulf of Alaska to central Baja California in Mexico. In Canada, Bocaccio are found mainly offshore although they have occasionally been found closer to inshore waters such as the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait, and Queen Charlotte Strait. Bocaccio in Canada have experienced a sharp decline over the last 60 years, and has declined by 28% in the 10-year period since it was first assessed by COSEWIC. The current population is estimated to be over 400,000 individuals. (Updated 2017/08/29)

Top

Habitat

Boccaccio larvae and young-of-the-year (age 0 fish) live in the upper layers of the ocean for several months. They then settle to bottom habitats in nearshore areas where they form schools. As juveniles mature into adults (around 7 years), they move offshore to greater depths. Adult Bocaccio are usually found above rocky bottoms between 60 to 340 metres deep. Recent science has found that adult Bocaccio may also prefer coral and sponge reefs as habitat. (Updated 2017/08/29)

Top

Biology

Bocaccio have a long lifespan, with a maximum age of at least 57 years and an average generation time of 20 years. Like all rockfish, the Bocaccio is ovoviviparous – the eggs hatch inside a female’s body and the young are born alive. Egg production increases with female body size and a single female can produce between 20,000 to 2,300,000 eggs each year. In British Columbia, the larvae are usually released in the winter. Young Bocaccio grow rapidly and can reach 24 centimetres by the end of their first year. Similar to other rockfish, Bocaccio have variable success in producing successful offspring from year to year. Their reproductive success is dependent on the density of adults and ideal environmental conditions. Bocaccio larvae eat plankton. As juveniles develop, they switch to a diet consisting mostly of fish. Adults primarily consume fish, including other rockfish. Small Bocaccio are preyed on by Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), seabirds, and Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina), while adults are likely preyed on by larger fishes and marine mammals, such as Harbour Seals and Northern Elephant Seals (Mirounga angustirostris). (Updated 2017/08/29)

Top

Threats

Commercial groundfish fisheries are the largest known threat to Bocaccio. Like other rockfish species, Bocaccio have swim bladders which cannot adjust to the sudden changes in pressure that occur when fishing gear brings them to the surface. Bocaccio accidentally caught in fisheries die when they are brought up from depths greater than about 25 to 30 metres. Other research suggests that Bocaccio are also potentially threatened with habitat destruction caused by the long-term use of fishing gear on the ocean floor. Bocaccio are more susceptible to overfishing because of the species’ life history characteristics, such as late maturity and variable recruitment. As with most other rockfish, offspring survival is extremely variable from year to year. It is dependent on density of adults and ideal environmental conditions. Life history characteristics such as these reduce the species’ ability to recover from decline. (Updated 2017/08/29)

Top

Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

Top

Recovery Team

Pacific Region Species at Risk Program - Bocaccio

  • DFO Pacific Region - MPO région du Pacifique - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
     Send Email

Top

Recovery Progress and Activities

In 2004, Fisheries and Oceans Canada worked with the commercial fishing industry to develop a conservation program for Bocaccio. This program required that all the profits earned from catching Bocaccio be directed to programs that support recovery of the species. The program also began trawl surveys to improve knowledge of Bocaccio and other Pacific groundfish. It also implemented measures to manage fishery impacts such as setting a total allowable catch and specific fishery limits for Bocaccio caught and through restricting the number of groundfish trawl licences. Recovery of the species is also assisted through monitoring of groundfish fisheries which maintains accountability and monitoring for bycatch species. Mitigation of impacts caused by bottom-contact fishing through management tools may also provide some support for Bocaccio recovery. For example, Fisheries Act closures to protect sensitive benthic areas, Marine Protected Areas, and Rockfish Conservation Areas enable management of bottom-contact fishing to protect groundfish and marine habitat. It is unclear if these areas will benefit Bocaccio recovery, but they may provide some protection for the species and its habitat. (Updated 2017/08/29)

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

13 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Bocaccio Sebastes paucispinis in Canada (2002)

    Bocaccio is one of over 35 species of rockfish found in marine waters off British Columbia (B.C.). It is distinguished from other rockfish (Sebastes spp.) by its large jaw. It ranges in colour from olive orange to burnt orange or brown on the back, becoming pink to red on the underside. Other common names for bocaccio include rock salmon, salmon rockfish, Pacific red snapper, Pacific snapper, and Oregon snapper. This report treats all the bocaccio of the BC coast as a single population; there has been no research to address evolutionarily significant units within BC.
  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Bocaccio Sebastes paucispinis in Canada (2014)

    Bocaccio is one of at least 39 species of rockfish found in marine waters off British Columbia (BC). It is distinguished from other rockfish (Sebastes spp.) by its long upper jaw. There are two demographic clusters of Bocaccio, one centred on the west coast of British Columbia and another centred on central/southern California. However, genetic studies fail to find population differentiation along the Pacific coast. This report treats all the Bocaccio of the BC coast as a single population.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement – Bocaccio (2015)

    This species is a long-lived rockfish with a maximum age for females in Canada of 52 years and a generation time of 20 years. Its life history makes it susceptible to overfishing. The current assessment has benefited from increased population information that covers the entire distribution in Canada and extends much further into the past. The population has been in continuous decline for 60 years and it has declined by 28% in the 10-year period since it was first assessed by COSEWIC. New surveys initiated since the last assessment indicate that these recent declines have occurred in areas of highest biomass off the west coast of Vancouver Island and in Queen Charlotte Sound. Fishery bycatch has been reduced but remains the main threat to the population.
  • Response Statements - Bocaccio (2007)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2010)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of the assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2005) (2005)

    The Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of 12 aquatic species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2011)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (2006)

    Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act, hereby makes the annexed Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2003 (2003)

    May 2003 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2013-2014 (2014)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to "assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species". COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2013 to September, 2014) from November 24 to November 29, 2013 and from April 27 to May 2, 2014. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 0 Endangered: 23 Threatened: 12 Special Concern: 20 Data Deficient: 0 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 56 Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 25 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Consultation Documents

  • Bocaccio: Consultations on listing under the Species at Risk Act (2017)

    Information summary and survey for the consultations on adding Bocaccio to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk as Endangered - Please provide your input by December 8, 2017.
  • Species at Risk Act - Legal Listing of Aquatic Species, Pacific Region - Consultation Workbook (2004)

    Your opinion is being sought to assist the government of Canada in making an informed decision on whether to add any or all of the following 10 aquatic species to the Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species include: Blue Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Enos Lake Stickleback, Speckled Dace, Salish Sucker, Cultus Lake Sockeye, Interior Fraser Coho, Sakinaw Lake Sockeye, and Bocaccio. Your input on the impacts of adding these species to the List is important. This workbook has been developed to give you an opportunity to provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada with your feedback, advice, and other comments regarding adding the above mentioned 10 species to Schedule 1 of SARA (Schedule 1 identifies which species are legally protected under SARA).