Blue Striped Surfperch     Embiotoca lateralis



This striped beauty was found around the piling of the Boston Harbor Marina. Also called the Striped Seaperch or Striped Perch, this eight inch specimen, which is missing the upper part of the tail fin, can grow to 15 inches.  They  also can be found in kelp beds or around rocky reefs.  They are distinguished from other surfperches, such as the Pile Perch and Shiner Perch, by their bright blue and orange horizontal stripes.  They are a favorite sports fish for nearshore anglers.  


The surfperch family is quite unique in that the eggs are fertilized internally and the young (up to 40 per female) are nurtured over the winter till they are born alive in late spring and early summer.  While the young benefit from the protection of the mother at this critical stage, overfishing of pregnant females may severely reduce the population.  They can live up to nine years.


This group of fish occurs only in the North Pacific, with two species in Japan and Korea and the other 18 ranging from Alaska to Baja California.  Various species inhabit the nearshore area from the surf zone on the open coast to kelp and rocky reefs and down to a depth of around 300 feet or more.  The Striped Surfperch is usually found in shallow water to a depth of 70 feet.


They have a small mouth so only small animals such as amphipods, small shrimp, snails, polychaetes, barnacles and mussels are eaten.  The young are fed upon by a variety of larger fish and birds while the adults become large enough that only seals and sea lions can take them.


See video on YOUTUBE  of Blue Striped Surfperch among some Giant Plumous Anemones (filmed by Phil Sconce).