Brief Summary

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The winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus, (also known as black back or lemon sole) is a valuable commercially- and recreationally-fished flatfish. Native to western Atlantic waters, winter flounder are a common North American flatfish inhabiting sandy or muddy bottoms between Newfoundland, Canada and Georgia, USA. Adults prefer water temperatures of 12-15oC; they live inshore in the fall and winter, spawning in relatively shallow waters in the spring or early summer, then often (although not always, depending on food availability, water temperatures and possibly light intensity) migrate offshore, where they are found to depths 50 fathoms, for the warmer months. Unlike the eggs of other flounder species in the same area, winter flounder eggs sink to the bottom, usually in clusters. Winter flounder is a right-eyed ("dextral") flatfish that typically grows to 3-4 pounds, 58 cm (larger on Georges bank) and lives up to 15 years. Small-mouthed, winter flounders feed opportunistically on small invertebrates and larval fish, using primarily vision to locate food. Young and adult flounders are sensitive to waters high in sediment, which restrict feeding and this species is vulnerable to human activity because they spend much time in shallow water. Winter flounder are managed as three distinct natural groupings in the US: Gulf of Maine, southern New England-Mid-Atlantic, and Georges Bank, and three in Canadian waters: western Scotian Shelf eastern Scotian Shelf, and the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Heavily harvested, NOAA reports the US fishery has severely declined and although their most recent assessment has a high degree of uncertainty, all three US stocks are likely overfished. (Bigelow and Schroeder 2002; Decelles and Cadrin 2011; Hendrickson, Nitschke and Terceiro 2006; NOAA Fishwatch; Pereira et al. 1999; Wikipedia 2011)
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Diseases and Parasites

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Epitheliocystis. Bacterial diseases
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Allan Palacio
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Migration

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Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Susan M. Luna
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Trophic Strategy

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It is preyed upon by monkfish, dogfish, sea raven, harbor, harp and grey seals. Parasites of the species include 6 protozoans, 2 myxosporidians, 13 trematodes, 2 cestodes, 7 nematodes, 3 acanthocephalans, 2 brachiurans and 1 copepod (Ref. 5951).
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Biology

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Adults inhabit soft muddy to moderately hard bottoms (Ref. 5951). Feed predominantly in daytime on organisms living in, on or near the bottom; shrimps, amphipods, crabs, sea urchins and snails (Ref. 12232). Batch spawner (Ref. 51846).
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Importance

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fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental; gamefish: yes
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Winter flounder

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The winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), also known as the black back, is a right-eyed ("dextral") flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae. It is native to coastal waters of the western north Atlantic coast, from Labrador, Canada to Georgia, United States, although it is less common south of Delaware Bay.[1][2] It is the most common near-shore (shallow-water) flounder in the waters from Newfoundland down through Massachusetts Bay, reaching a maximum size around 61 cm in length and 2.25 kg in weight. The species grows larger on Georges Bank, where they can reach a length of 70 cm and weight of 3.6 kg.[2] Although winter flounder historically supported large commercial and recreational fisheries, biomass and landings have decreased since the 1980s.[3]

Life cycle

Winter flounder lay up to 3.3 million demersal, adhesive eggs that are retained within their spawning grounds.[4] Depending on temperature, larvae of approximately 3 mm in length hatch in two to three weeks.[4][3] These larvae are planktonic at first, but transition to a bottom-oriented lifestyle over time. Around five to six weeks after hatching, the left eye of the larval flounder begins to migrate to the right side of the body.[4] The “flounder-like” juveniles then settle onto the seafloor and move into saltwater coves, coastal salt ponds, estuaries, and protected bays, where they may grow up to 100 mm within the first year.[3] Adult winter flounder may grow as large as 70 cm and reach ages of 15+ years. Growth varies across their distribution, with northern populations generally growing slower than those at the southern end of their range.[4]

Taxonomy

The winter flounder is one of five species in the genus Pseudopleuronectes along with the Yellow-striped flounder, Cresthead flounder, Marbled flounder, and Dark flounder. It is the only congener to inhabit the Atlantic Ocean.

Winter flounder can be differentiated from the commonly co-occurring Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) by their small teeth and eyes nearly always positioned on the right side of their bodies. Meanwhile, Summer flounder have their eyes on the left side of their bodies and possess large, conspicuous teeth.

Feeding and diet

Larval Winter flounder are known to feed on nauplii, harpacticoids, calanoids, polychaetes, invertebrate eggs, and phytoplankton.[4] As they grow, copepods, amphipods, and polychaetes all become more important elements of their diet. Adult winter flounder are opportunistic sight-feeders that target annelids, crustaceans, bivalves, and fish depending upon prey availability.[4]

Reproduction

Winter flounder reach sexual maturity at about two to three years of age and a total length of 25–30 cm, with variance across their range.[2][4] Mature adults (excluding those on Georges Bank) generally migrate in two phases, where adults enter shallow estuaries in the late fall and early spring to spawn in late winter or early spring before returning to deeper parts of the estuary or offshore waters.[4][3] However, these migration patterns may be altered or individuals may stay inshore year round if temperatures remain at 15 °C or lower or if enough food is available. Genetic analyses and tagging studies indicate that there is little mixing between the Winter flounder populations in the Gulf of Maine, South of Cape Cod, and on Georges Bank.[4][5]

Fisheries

Winter flounder are highly regarded for their delicious white meat and are sometimes called lemon sole in the U.S.[6] They once supported large commercial and recreational fisheries, with peak harvests of 40.3 million pounds and 16.4 million pounds respectively. However, landings in both sectors have declined since the 1980s to 6 million pounds and 77,000 pounds respectively in 2013.[3]

Winter flounder are managed as three stock units in U.S. coastal waters; Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE), Georges Bank (GB), and Gulf of Maine (GOM), where the status of each stock is as follows: SNE- overfished, overfishing is not occurring; GB- not overfished and overfishing is not occurring; GOM- unknown if they are overfished, overfishing is not occurring.[2][7] Despite continued management efforts, habitat degradation, heavy fishing pressure, low genetic variability, and possibly climate change are combining to hinder the recovery of depleted Winter flounder populations.[2][8]

References

  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Pseudopleuronectes americanus" in FishBase. February 2018 version.
  2. ^ a b c d e Northeast Fisheries Science Center (2011). "52nd Northeast Regional Stock Assessment Workshop (52nd SAW) Assessment Report". US Dept Commer, Northeast Fish Sci Cent Ref Doc. 11-17: 962.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Winter Flounder". ASMFC. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pereira, J.J.; Goldberg, R.; Ziskowski, J.J.; Berrien, P.L.; Morse, W.W.; Johnson, D.L. (1999). "Essential Fish Habitat Source Document: Winter Flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus, Life History and Habitat Characteristics" (PDF). US Dept Commer, NOAA Technical Memorandum. NMFS-NE-138: 39.
  5. ^ Wirgin, I.; Maceda, L.; Grunwald, C.; Roy, N.K.; Waldman, J.R. (2014). "Coastwide Stock Structure of Winter Flounder Using Nuclear DNA Analyses". Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 143: 240–251. doi:10.1080/00028487.2013.847861.
  6. ^ "Winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus)". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  7. ^ Sherman, S.; Yuen, M. "2013 REVIEW OF THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION'S INTERSTATE FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR WINTER FLOUNDER (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) 2012 FISHING YEAR (May 2012 – April 2013)" (PDF). ASMFC. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  8. ^ Howell, W.H.; Fairchild, E.A.; Rennels, N. "SKEWED SEX RATIO IN CULTURED WINTER FLOUNDER PSEUDOPLEURONECTES AMERICANUS: IMPLICATIONS FOR STOCK ENHANCEMENT". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
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Winter flounder: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

The winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), also known as the black back, is a right-eyed ("dextral") flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae. It is native to coastal waters of the western north Atlantic coast, from Labrador, Canada to Georgia, United States, although it is less common south of Delaware Bay. It is the most common near-shore (shallow-water) flounder in the waters from Newfoundland down through Massachusetts Bay, reaching a maximum size around 61 cm in length and 2.25 kg in weight. The species grows larger on Georges Bank, where they can reach a length of 70 cm and weight of 3.6 kg. Although winter flounder historically supported large commercial and recreational fisheries, biomass and landings have decreased since the 1980s.

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Diet

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Feeds on shrimps, amphipods, crabs, sea urchins and snails
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Distribution

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Labrador to Georgia, abundant only in the central part of its range
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat

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An inshore species, found to depths of 5 m, migrate offshore in winter and return inshore by summer.
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Habitat

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benthic
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North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Mary Kennedy [email]