Ocean Fishes Archives - Oceana Canada

Atlantic salmon

Atlantic salmon are an iconic species of the northern Atlantic Ocean and once supported large fisheries throughout their range. They are known for their long, annual migrations from the ocean, up river to freshwater environments where they spawn and lay eggs. Although many wild populations of Atlantic salmon have all but disappeared or have been … Read more


Eulachon are a small, schooling fish that have an extremely high oil content in their bodies. This oil content has led to the nickname “candlefish” because they can be dried, fitted with a wick and used as a candle. They are a forage fish, or prey species, and play an important role in Pacific northwest … Read more


Capelin may be small, but they have a mighty role to play in northern ocean ecosystems. These small fish are a key forage species for countless marine animals. As an important prey source for Atlantic cod, the health of their populations is linked to the health of many cod populations in Atlantic Canada. Capelin are … Read more

Arctic Char

Arctic char are related to trout and salmon, all of which are predatory fish of the Salmonidae family. With the northernmost distribution of any freshwater fish, Arctic char is a key species in the marine and freshwater ecosystems of northern Canada. This also makes them an important and culturally significant food source for Inuit and … Read more

Yelloweye Rockfish

Yelloweye rockfish get their name from their distinct yellow eyes and bright orange-red body. These rockfish are one of about 30 different species of rockfish found off the Pacific Coast of Canada, but they are among the longest-lived – living up to 115 years old! Their long lifespan means they are slow growing and mature … Read more

Atlantic Herring

Small but mighty, Atlantic herring are one of the most abundant fish in the ocean and are often found gathered together in large schools. Some schools of herring have been estimated to contain several billion fish! They are silvery fish with a blueish iridescence found all throughout the North Atlantic Ocean and are socially, culturally … Read more

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon are an iconic species of the north Pacific Ocean and the rivers of western North America and eastern Asia. Also known as “king” salmon, they are the largest of the Pacific salmon species with the world record for a commercial catch weighing in at 57.27kg (126lbs)! Like all salmon, this species is well … Read more

American Plaice

When American plaice emerge from their eggs, they have a normal fish-shaped body. Like other flatfish, they develop their unique shape over time.  As they grow, their left eye starts to migrate over to their right side and their body begins to flatten. By the time they reach the juvenile stage and settle on the … Read more

Atlantic Wolffish

With even just a brief glance, you can quickly figure out how the Atlantic wolffish was named. Their large, canine-like teeth protrude from their mouths, giving them a wolf-like scowl. Behind these visible primary canine teeth are a cluster of five or six smaller canines, as well as three sets of crushing teeth on the … Read more


The scientific name for Lingcod, Ophiodon elongates, comes from the Greek ophis for snake and odons for tooth and the Latin elongates, or elongated, all of which provide a fitting description for this long-bodied, large-mouthed, toothy fish. Although the word “cod” is also in their name, lingcod are not actually cod; they are a member … Read more