Ah the elusive rockfish. Surprisingly, rockfish are remarkably diverse. Imagine approximately 28 species in a wide range of size, habitat, and ecological niches. They like to hide in rocky areas of marine environments (as their nomenclature eludes). In Pacific Ocean waters, they are among the most long-lived of teleost fishes, and have “low average annual reproductive success” (Love et al. 2002), which makes an easy recipe for overfishing. Long lives and low reproduction success, along with commercial success (overfishing) and degraded habitats equal a big problem for rockfish: population decline.
They are so elusive that fisheries researchers know very little about the movement and habitat selection of most rockfish. To help answer a few of those questions, HTI along with researchers at Cornell University and NASA Ames Research Center tested the marine-focused HTI acoustic tag to help reveal the secret lives of rockfish.
Here are a few features when tracking rockfish that we find particularly interesting: