Join me in the cold, dark, life-sustaining NE Pacific Ocean to discover the great beauty, mystery and fragility hidden there.

Fish Have Homes!

This week, I found back the same Tiger Rockfish in the same spot after eight years.

 

Yes, on top of cataloguing Humpback Whales, I catalogue Tiger Rockfish. I can’t stop myself.

There’s so much that may be learned when you can recognize animals as individuals. There is more conservation value too when people realize that even individual fish have homes.

The markings in this species of rockfish are so distinct that it is easy to recognize them as individuals IF they are not tucked away deep in a crack which is often their way. See below to compare the markings of this mature female to two other individuals for whom I also have repeat sightings at this location.  I will clearly have to hand off this cataloguing to a younger biologist since these fish are likely to outlive me. They are known to be able to live to age 116.

I was already very excited when I found back this individual after 6 years. Now I can show that this fish was documented in the exact same location after least 8 years. This shows how strong the site fidelity is and why Rockfish Conservation Areas can have such success. Please read more on Rockfish Conservation Areas, barotrauma and rockfish reproduction in my previous blog at this link.

Tiger Rockfish = Sebastes nigrocinctus to 61 cm (35 cm by 17 years of age).


Below, pages from my Tiger Rockfish ID catalogue for this site.

The fish above is “Tiger Rockfish 1”. Note how distinct the markings are and how easy it is to recognize these individuals. I will end up nicknaming these fish for distinctive features as we do with the Humpback Whales. Suggestions are very welcome but for DISTINCTIVE features  i.e. not names like “Stripy. 😉 Update: Tiger Rockfish #1 is now “Papillon” for the bowtie like marking on the right side of her head.

 



10 Responses to “Fish Have Homes!”

  1. Charmaine

    Thank you so much. Its amazing the amount of work and effort you do, it is very informative and a thrill to read and see the pictures you have taken.

    Reply
  2. Jon Ingram

    Thank you again for a beautiful, highly educational, inspiring, and fun post!! Love your passion and incredible expertise!! Jon

    On Sat, Aug 15, 2020 at 4:12 PM The Marine Detective wrote:

    > The Marine Detective posted: “This week, I found back the same Tiger > Rockfish in the same spot after eight years. Yes, on top of cataloguing > Humpback Whales, I catalogue Tiger Rockfish. I can’t stop myself. There’s > so much that may be learned when you can recognize” >

    Reply
    • The Marine Detective

      Jon, thank you! This comment is so motivating to me; allowing me to know that content like this is valued. It makes me feel there is a community united in caring about individual fish, and so much more.

      Reply
  3. Margaret a.k.a. Brown Pelican

    Great blog title Jackie! Thank you for continuing to share your deep knowledge so enthusiastically.
    Yours words and photos are a bright spot in these strange times.

    Reply

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