The Korean rockfish, Sebastes schlegeli, is a valuable and intensively exploited species in Korea. We discuss the genetic diversity and genetic structure of four Korean rockfish populations using eight microsatellite loci. In total, 161 different alleles from 138 individuals were observed. Average allele number per locus ranged from 2.5 to 23 and allelic richness varied from 13.38 to 14.63 within a population. Despite a long history of stocking practices, we found very high levels of polymorphism (mean heterozygosity = 0.810), which is comparable to other congeneric species. No significant difference in genetic diversity and molecular genetic variance (FST and RST) was observed among four local samples (P > 0.1). Little indication of contemporary inbreeding (FIS= 0.051) or population structure (K = 1) was detected. This absence of differentiation may reflect high levels of gene flow along the coast of Korea. Our study demonstrates that rockfish in Korea should be managed as a single unit. Currently, the species does not appear to be genetically threatened, but the potential for a rapid loss of genetic diversity remains. This information on the genetic characteristics of Korean rockfish populations has important implications for fisheries management and conservation efforts, and will aid in the sustainable exploitation of the fishing resources and the preservation of biodiversity.