Throughout their range, Sebastes spp. are adapted to a diversity of ecological niches, with overlapping spatial distributions of different species that have little or no morphological differences. Divergence of behavioural groups into depth-defined adult habitats has led to reproductive isolation, adaptive radiation, and speciation in the genus Sebastes. Recent genetic research, supported by life-history information, indicates four biological stocks of Sebastes mentella in the Irminger Sea and adjacent waters: a western stock, a deep-pelagic stock, a shallow-pelagic stock, and an Iceland slope stock. Congruent differences in fatty acids and parasites suggest that these genetically distinct populations are adapted to disparate trophic habitats in pelagic waters (shallower and deeper than the deep-scattering layer) and in demersal habitats on the continental slope. Morphology of pelagic forms is also more streamlined than demersal forms. Although genetic differences and evidence for reproductive isolation are clear, these populations appear to share common nursery habitats on the Greenland shelf. We propose a redefinition of practical management units near the Irminger Sea based on geographic proxies for biological stocks and minimizing mixed-stock catches according to the spatial patterns of the recent fishery.