The arm of an ROV reaching towards a sponge

Creature Feature Black Sea Bass

All about that bass

Dive or fish in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, and you’re likely to come across many black sea bass. These fish are a popular and sustainable choice for many recreational fishers. In Gray’s Reef, black sea bass play an important role as predators, keeping populations of crabs, shrimp, and small fish in check. As protogynous hermaphrodites, black sea bass will switch sexes as they mature, generally starting out as female and changing to male.

A juvenile black sea bass
A black sea bass

Fun Facts

DIET: Crabs, shrimp, small fish

AVERAGE SIZE: 11-12 inches

AVERAGE WEIGHT: 1.5 pounds

LIFE SPAN: 8-12 years

EGGS PER SPAWNING SEASON: 30,000 to 500,000

PREDATORS: Skates, spiny dogfish, summer flounder, humans

LOCATION: Western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico

Researchers in Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary are using audio recorders to better understand activities of fish species like black sea bass.

A map highilighting the east coast of the US