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Summer flounder

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Title: Summer flounder  
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Subject: Flounder, Flatfish, Flookburgh, Paralichthyidae, Offshore aquaculture
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Summer flounder

Summer flounder (fluke)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Paralichthyidae
Genus: Paralichthys
Species: P. dentatus
Binomial name
Paralichthys dentatus
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) is a marine flatfish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean off the East coast of the United States and Canada. It is especially abundant in waters from North Carolina to Massachusetts.[1]

Contents

  • Description 1
  • Habitat 2
  • Commercial fishing, angling, and food quality 3
  • Management 4
  • References 5

Description

Paralichthys dentatus (Linnaeus, 1766), also called a fluke, is a member of the large-tooth squid, shrimp, and crabs. While primarily considered a bottom fish, they are rapid swimmers over short distances and can become very aggressive, feeding actively at middepths, even chasing prey to the surface.

Habitat

The summer flounder has a range in the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Florida,[2] possibly further south where the summer flounder may mix and be confused with its close relative the southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) which lacks the eye-like spots of the summer flounder. Paralichthys dentatus is most common to the coastal and shelf waters off of the northeast U.S. where they are commonly called Fluke. In the spring months fluke leave their winter stay in the deep ocean waters, where spawning occurs, to move into the inshore waters along beaches, inlets, bays, estuaries, canals, and creeks where they will stay until autumn or even early winter.

Commercial fishing, angling, and food quality

Commercial methods for summer flounder typically include trawling. Recreational fishing is typically done while drifting in a boat or casting from shore using a wide variety of methods which include live or cut baits on a bottom rig, artificial lures, or weighted jigs tipped with strip baits. It is considered an excellent food fish with firm, mild tasting white meat.

Management

The summer flounder is often considered to be, by far, the most important flounder along the Atlantic coast as it is important to both the commercial fishing industry and very popular for recreational fishing in the northeast United States. In addition to commercial fishing, businesses such as recreational charters, party boats, bait and tackle stores, and any number of businesses associated with boating and angling may depend on a viable summer flounder angling season. Because of this importance there has been much debate and concern over summer flounder populations and government imposed recreational size and creel regulations which currently vary from state to state. Recent debate has centered around whether summer flounder are on the decline due to overfishing, and this has made the summer flounder an important species of topic in the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 2006.

References

  • International Game Fish Association, Species Identification (2003)
  • The Audubon Society, Field Guide To North American Fishes (1983), Knopf
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute; www.gmri.org
  1. ^ Ceoe.udel.edu
  2. ^ Ceoe.udel.edu
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