A Sebastes-specific complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray was developed to identify potential biomarkers involved in the capture stress and recovery of Sebastes species if they are assisted in returning to their original depth of capture following barotrauma. Black rockfish Sebastes melanops were exposed to simulated decompression from 450 kPa (c. 35 m depth) (which resulted in barotrauma) and subsequent recompression. Sebastes melanops were sampled for liver tissue at days 3, 15 and 31 post-barotrauma. Potential candidate genes were identified from the microarray and then quantitative real-time PCR (qrt-PCR) was used to validate expression levels in biological replicates. Six potential biomarkers associated with the innate immune system were identified that were up-regulated in liver tissue at 3 days post-barotrauma: complement C1q-like protein 2, complement component C3, complement regulatory plasma protein, serum amyloid A-5, c-type lysozyme and hepcidin precursor type I. In addition, complement c1q was correlated to the presence of a ruptured swimbladder, providing further support that this gene may be a good biomarker of injury and recovery. Immune genes were no longer up-regulated at day 31 post-barotrauma, a good indication of recovery in S. melanops.