Not surprisingly, the lifespan of ray-finned fishes varies widely. In general, smaller fish have shorter lives and vice versa. For instance, many smaller species live for only a year or less, such as North American minnows in the genus Pimephales, a few galaxiids from Tasmania and New Zealand, Sundaland noodlefishes , a silverside , a stickleback , and a few gobies . However, researchers of coral reef fishes are beginning to find that this correlation does not hold for some families. While many people, especially in the business of fisheries, assumed short lifespans for many fish, researchers are starting to find that many live much longer than previously expected. For example, common species, such as the European perch (aka river perch) and largemouth bass can live 25 and 15 to 24 years respectively. Even more impressive, some sturgeons (which are severely threatened) can live between 80 to 150 years. Several species of rockfish (deepwater rockfish , silvergray rockfish and rougheye rockfish) live from 90 to 140 years! These long lifespans have quickly become a serious issue for some fisheries because populations can be decimated if individuals that naturally accumulate in older age classes are removed (see Conservation).
- Choat, J., D. Robertson. 2002. Age-Based Studies. Pp. 57-80 in P Sale, ed. Coral Reef Fishes: Dynamics and Diversity in a Complex Ecosystem. Boston: Academic Press.