There are more than 100 species of rockfish, with names varying from geography (Puget Sound rockfish) to appearance (shortbelly rockfish) to habitat (kelp rockfish). A few of the fish in this family are called ocean or sea perch. They are often sold under the general name rockfish or snapper.

A rockfish has a long life and takes many years to reach reproductive maturity. As many are caught early in their lifespan, they are vulnerable to overfishing. When rockfish is caught using the trawl method, it should be avoided, but the hook-and-line method is a more sustainable option.

Rockfish is versatile, lean, and mild flavored. It can be broiled, baked, pan fried, grilled, served whole, or in large fillets. Since the flesh is firmer than some fish, rockfish can also withstand being cubed for use in stir-fries.