A commercial fishing boat in Alaska has surprisingly hauled a century old a giant rockfish! The 44-inch, 60-pound female shortraker rockfish may have been one of the oldest creatures in Alaska.
The catcher-processor Kodiak Enterprise has caught the giant fish last month. The fishing boat was then trawling for pollock 2,100 feet below the surface of the Bering Sea in the south of the Pribilof Islands.
The Seattle-based vessel that caught the fish is owned by Trident Seafoods. The vessel can pull up an estimated 75 tons of pollock and 10 bright-orange rockfish. Measuring, photographing and documenting the fish, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle have removed an ear bone of the fish.
The earbone – called the otolith — contains growth rings that are similar to rings in the trunks of the trees. With its help, the scientists have estimated the rockfish to be 90 to 115 years old.
With some estimating the rockfish’s age to be 90 to 115 years old – that being toward the upper end of the known age limit for shortraker rockfish — other estimates put the fish’s maximum age at 157 years.
Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration