American plaice

The American plaice, American sole or long rough dab (Hippoglossoides platessoides) is a North Atlantic flatfish that belongs, along with other right-eyed flounders, to the Pleuronectidae family. In the northwest Atlantic (H. p. platessoides) it ranges from Greenland and Labrador to Rhode Island, and in the northeast Atlantic (H. p. limandoides) it ranges from Murmansk to the English Channel, Ireland and Iceland.[1][2] They live on soft bottoms at depths of 10 to 3,000 m (33–9,843 ft), but mainly between 90 and 250 m (300–820 ft).[1]

In the Gulf of Maine spawning peaks in April and May. They grow to a maximum length of 70 centimetres (28 in).[3] The species is considered by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization to be overfished, with no signs of recovery.[4] On the other hand, the Canadian government believes the species is abundant, and counts it as the second most caught flatfish, totalling 50% of the flatfish caught by Canadian fishermen.[5] A 1997 study reports that plaice are endangered in Canada due to overfishing.[6] In its European range the species is generally common and not actively sought by fishers, but it is often part of the bycatch.[2]

Hippoglossoides platessoides

American plaice may be an intermediate host for the nematode parasite Otostrongylus circumlitis, which is a lungworm of seals, primarily affecting animals less than 1 yr of age.

American plaice
Plie canadienne (Hippoglossoides platessoides)
American plaice, Hippoglossoides platessoides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Pleuronectiformes
Family: Pleuronectidae
Genus: Hippoglossoides
H. platessoides
Binomial name
Hippoglossoides platessoides
(O. Fabricius, 1780)
  • Pleuronectes limandoides Bloch, 1787
  • Pleuronectes platessoides O. Fabricius, 1780


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2016). "Hippoglossoides platessoides" in FishBase. September 2016 version.
  2. ^ a b Muus, B., J. G. Nielsen, P. Dahlstrom and B. Nystrom (1999). Sea Fish. pp. 260-261. ISBN 8790787005
  3. ^ [1] Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Dery, L.M. "American plaice, Hippoglossoides platessoides." Fishery Biology Program, Woods Hole Massachusetts Laboratory of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC).retrieved January 18, 2007
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Fishery Recent Assessment (2005 and 2006). Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. retrieved January 18, 2007
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 4, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) "American plaice." Underwater World. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. retrieved January 18, 2007
  6. ^ Bergeron et al. 1997. Canadian Journal of Zoology 75: 1364–1371.
Alaska plaice

Alaska plaice (Pleuronectes quadrituberculatus) is a saltwater fish that live in the North Pacific Ocean. Alaska plaice are right-eye flounders which live on the sandy bottoms of the continental shelf, up to 600 metres deep. Their geographic range is from the Gulf of Alaska in the east, to the Chukchi Sea in the north, to the Sea of Japan in the west. Alaska plaice feed mostly on polychaetes, but also eat amphipods and echiurans.

Most commercial fisheries do not target Alaska plaice, and bycatch by commercial trawlers targeting other groundfish is the sole source of significant harvest of this species. Large schools of Alaska plaice are commonly associated with schools of Yellowfin sole, and bycatch rates can reach relatively high levels. The 2005 total allowable catch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area (BSAI) was reached before the end of May of that year.

Alaska plaice can live for up to 30 years, and grow to 60 centimetres (24 inches) long, but most that get caught are only seven or eight years old, and about 30 cm (12 in). They are brown on the eyed side and typically pale to bright yellow on the blind side. Five to seven small boney cones are found on the head on the eyed side.

American sole

The American soles are a family (Achiridae) of flatfish occurring in both freshwater and marine environments of the Americas. The family includes about 35 species in seven genera. These are closely related to the soles (Soleidae), and have been classified as a subfamily of it, but achirids have a number of distinct characteristics.

Eyes are on the right side, and the eyed-side lower lip has a distinctive fleshy rim. The dorsal and anal fins are usually separate from the caudal fin. The pectoral fins are small or nonexistent. They are fairly small; only Achirus achirus is known to surpass 30 cm (1 ft) in length.


Lefteye flounders are a family, Bothidae, of flounders. They are called "lefteye flounders" because most species lie on the sea bottom on their right sides, with both eyes on their left sides. A helpful reminder when trying to recall the family name for this fish is that "Bothidae (Both o' dey) eyes are on the same side o' dey head." The family is also distinguished by the presence of spines on the snout and near the eyes.Lefteye flounders vary considerably in size between the more than 160 species, ranging from 4.5 cm (1.8 in) to 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length. They include such economically important species as the Japanese halibut.


A flatfish is a member of the order Pleuronectiformes of ray-finned demersal fishes, also called the Heterosomata, sometimes classified as a suborder of Perciformes. In many species, both eyes lie on one side of the head, one or the other migrating through or around the head during development. Some species face their left sides upward, some face their right sides upward, and others face either side upward.

Many important food fish are in this order, including the flounders, soles, turbot, plaice, and halibut. Some flatfish can camouflage themselves on the ocean floor.

Flemish Cap

The Flemish Cap is an area of shallow waters in the north Atlantic Ocean centered roughly at 47° north, 45° west or about 563 km (350 miles) east of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The shallow water is caused by a wide underwater plateau covering an extended area of 42,000 km² (12,000 square miles). Depths at the cap range from approximately 122 m (400 feet) to 700 m (2,300 feet).

The Flemish Cap is located within an area of transition between the cold waters of the Labrador Current and warmer waters influenced by the Gulf Stream. The mixing of the warmer and colder waters over the plateau produces the characteristic clockwise circulation current over the cap.

The waters of the Flemish Cap are deeper and warmer than the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The 58,000-square-kilometre area may have served as an important refuge for marine species during the last ice age.The Flemish Cap lies outside Canada's 200 nautical mile (370 km) Exclusive Economic Zone established in 1977, and is therefore in international fishing waters. Overfishing has become a serious issue in recent years. Cod and American plaice are particularly endangered here and the numbers of redfish have shown a significant decline.In recent years, Canada had made an effort to prevent overfishing in the region by use of provisions of the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement.

The origin of the Flemish Cap's name is unclear. It arguably refers to Flemish fishermen venturing out this far west in the nineteenth century.


Flounders are a group of flatfish species. They are demersal fish, found at the bottom of oceans around the world; some species will also enter estuaries.


Halibut is a common name principally applied to the two flatfish in the genus Hippoglossus from the family of right-eye flounders. Less commonly, and in some regions only, other species of flatfish are also referred to as being halibuts. The word is derived from haly (holy) and butte (flat fish), for its popularity on Catholic holy days. Halibut are demersal fish and are highly regarded as a food fish.


Hippoglossoides is a genus of righteye flounders native to the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans.

Index of fishing articles

This page is a list of fishing topics.

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization

The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) is an intergovernmental organization with a mandate to provide scientific advice and management of fisheries in the northwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean. NAFO is headquartered in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Large-tooth flounders or sand flounders are a family, Paralichthyidae, of flounders. The family contains 14 genera with a total of about 110 species. They lie on the sea bed on their right side; both eyes are always on the left side of the head, while the Pleuronectidae usually (but not always) have their eyes on the right side of the head.

They are found in temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Several species are important commercial and game fishes, notably the California halibut, Paralichthys californicus and the Pacific sanddab, Citharichthys sordidus.


Plaice is a common name for a group of flatfish that comprises four species: the European, American, Alaskan and scale-eye plaice.

Commercially, the most important plaice is the European. The principal commercial flatfish in Europe, it is also widely fished recreationally, has potential as an aquaculture species, and is kept as an aquarium fish. Also commercially important is the American plaice.

The term plaice (plural plaice) comes from the 14th-century Anglo-French plais. This in turn comes from the late Latin platessa, meaning flatfish, which originated from the Ancient Greek platys, meaning broad.


Pleuronectidae, also known as righteye flounders, are a family of flounders. They are called "righteye flounders" because most species lie on the sea bottom on their left sides, with both eyes on their right sides. The Paralichthyidae are the opposite, with their eyes on the left side. A small number of species in Pleuronectidae can also have their eyes on the left side, notably the members of the genus Platichthys.Their dorsal and anal fins are long and continuous, with the dorsal fin extending forward onto the head. Females lay eggs that float in mid-water until the larvae develop, and they sink to the bottom.They are found on the bottoms of oceans around the world, with some species, such as the Atlantic halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, being found down to 2,000 m (6,600 ft). The smaller species eat sea-floor invertebrates such as polychaetes and crustaceans, but the larger righteye flounders, such as H. hippoglossus, which grows up to 4.7 m (15 ft) in length, feed on other fishes and cephalopods, as well.

They include many important commercially fished species, including not only the various fish called flounders, but also the European plaice, the halibuts, the lemon sole, the common dab, the Pacific Dover sole, and the flukes.

The name of the family is derived from the Greek πλευρά (pleura), meaning "rib" or "side", and νηκτόν (nekton), meaning "swimming".

Sole (fish)

Sole is a fish belonging to several families. Generally speaking, they are members of the family Soleidae, but, outside Europe, the name sole is also applied to various other similar flatfish, especially other members of the sole suborder Soleoidei as well as members of the flounder family. In European cookery, there are several species which may be considered true soles, but the common or Dover sole Solea solea, often simply called the sole, is the most esteemed and most widely available.


The true soles are a family, Soleidae, of flatfishes. It includes saltwater and brackish water species in the East Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and West and Central Pacific Ocean. Freshwater species are found in Africa, southern Asia, New Guinea, and Australia.

In the past, soles of the Americas (both fresh and salt water) were included in this family, but they have been separated to their own family, the American soles (Achiridae). The only true sole remaining in that region is Aseraggodes herrei of the Galápagos and Cocos Island.The true soles are bottom-dwelling fishes feeding on small crustaceans and other invertebrates. The family contains 30 genera and a total of about 180 species.

Soles begin life as bilaterally symmetric larvae, with an eye on each side of the head, but during development, the left eye moves around onto the right side of the head. Adult soles lie on their left (blind) sides on the sea floor, often covered in mud, which in combination with their dark colours, makes them hard to spot.

A flatfish resembling a small halibut or sole was observed by the Bathyscaphe Trieste at the bottom of the Mariana Trench at a depth around 11 km (36,000 ft). This observation has been questioned by fish experts, and recent authorities do not recognize it as valid.Many soles are important food species: the common sole, Solea solea, is popular in northern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Southern flounder

The southern (or armless) flounders are a small family, Achiropsettidae, of flounders found in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic waters. There are four genera, each with one species.

The bodies of southern flounders are greatly compressed, with both eyes on the left side of their heads. The caudal fin is separate, and the pectoral fins are rudimentary or entirely absent; none of the fins has spines. The lateral line is straight and well-developed. The family varies considerably in size, from 11 cm (4.3 in) of Pseudomancopsetta andriashevi to the 57 cm (22 in) length of Neoachiropsetta milfordi.

Little is known of the habits of the species in this family.

Spiny turbot

The spiny turbots are a family, Psettodidae, of relatively large, primitive flatfish found in the tropical waters of the east Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. The family contains just three species, all in the same genus, Psettodes. The common name comes from the presence of spines in the dorsal and anal fins, which may indicate an evolutionary relationship with the Perciformes. They are less asymmetrical than other flatfish, although the region around the eyes is twisted. They reach lengths of 55–80 cm (22–31 in).


Tonguefishes are flatfishes in the family Cynoglossidae. They are distinguished by the presence of a long hook on the snout overhanging the mouth, and the absence of pectoral fins. Their eyes are both on the left side of their bodies, which also lack a pelvic fin. This family has three genera with a total of more than 140 species. The largest reaches a length of 66 cm (26 in), though most species only reach half that size or less.

They are found in tropical and subtropical oceans, mainly in shallow waters and estuaries, though a few species found in deep sea floors, and a few in rivers.

Symphurus thermophilus lives congregating around "ponds" of sulphur at hydrothermal vents on the seafloor. No other flatfish is known from hydrothermal vents. Scientists are unsure of the mechanism that allows the fish to survive and even thrive in such a hostile environment.


The turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) is a species of flatfish in the family Scophthalmidae. It is a demersal fish native to marine or brackish waters of the North Atlantic, Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

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