Skip to main content

Flatfishes: Biology and Exploitation

Flatfishes: Biology and Exploitation

Robin N. Gibson (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-405-14338-7

Apr 2008, Wiley-Blackwell

416 pages

Select type: E-Book



Fascinating and instantly recognisable, flatfishes are unique in their asymmetric postlarval body form. With over 700 extant species recognised and a distribution stretching across the globe this group of fishes are of considerable research interest and provide a major contribution to recreational and commercial fisheries, and to aquaculture, worldwide.

Flatfishes: Biology and exploitation is the only comprehensive and current book in the field and responds to the economic importance and growing body of research to produce an invaluable addition to the Fish and Aquatic Resources Series providing:

  • Outlines of systematics, distribution, reproduction, recruitment, ecology and behaviour
  • Descriptions of the major fisheries and their management
  • Full coverage of recent advances in aquaculture and stock enhancement  

This book is essential reading for fish biologists; fisheries scientists; marine biologists; ecologists and environmental scientists; aquaculture personnel and government workers in fisheries and fish and wildlife departments. It should be found in all libraries of research establishments and universities where biology, fish biology, fisheries, aquaculture, marine sciences, oceanography, ecology and environmental sciences are studied or taught.

Series Foreword.



List of Contributors..

1. Introduction (Robin N. Gibson).

1.1 The fascination of flatfishes.

1.2 A brief history of flatfish research and its contribution to fish biology and fisheries science.

1.3 Scope and contents of the book.

1.4 Nomenclature.



2. Systematic diversity of the Pleuronectiformes (Thomas A. Munroe).

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Systematic profile of the Pleuronectiformes.

2.3 Intrarelationships of the Pleuronectiformes.

2.4 Brief synopses of the suborders and families.

2.5 Diversity of the Pleuronectiformes.

2.6 Patterns of species diversity among pleuronectiform families.

2.7 Conclusions.



3. Distributions and biogeography (Thomas A. Munroe).

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Geographic distribution of pleuronectiform lineages.

3.3 Global patterns of species richness for the Pleuronectiformes.

3.4 Species richness in specific environments.

3.5 Historical biogeography..

4. Ecology of reproduction (A.D. Rijnsdorp and P.R. Witthames).

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Spawning.

4.3 Gonad development.

4.4 Age and size at first maturation.

4.5 Energetics.

4.6 Contaminants and reproduction..

5. The planktonic stages of flatfishes: physical and biological interactions in transport processes (Kevin. M. Bailey, Hideaki Nakata and Henk W. van der Veer).

5.1 Introduction: the problem.

5.2 Flatfish eggs and larvae in the plankton: variations in form and function, time and space.

5.3 Physical mechanisms of transport and retention.

5.4 Adaptations to transport conditions: geographical and species comparisons.

5.5 Transport and population biology..

6. Recruitment (Henk W. van der Veer and William C. Leggett).

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Range of distribution.

6.3 Average recruitment levels.

6.4 Recruitment variability..

7. Age and growth (Richard D.M. Nash and Audrey J. Geffen).

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Age estimation.

7.3 Growth of larvae.

7.4 Growth during metamorphosis.

7.5 Growth on nursery grounds.

7.6 Growth of adults.

7.7 Longevity..

8. Ecology of the juvenile and adult stages of flatfishes: distribution and dynamics of habitat associations (Kenneth.W. Able, Melisssa Neuman and Hakan Wennhage).

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Definitions.

8.3 Distribution and ontogeny.

8.4 Future emphasis..

9. The trophic ecology of flatfishes (Jason S. Link, Michael J. Fogarty and Richard W. Langton).

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Major flatfish feeding groups.

9.3 Flatfish predators.

9.4 Flatfish competitors.

9.5 Flatfish trophic dynamics: a case study of Georges Bank.

9.6 Summary and conclusions..

10. Behaviour of flatfishes (Robin N. Gibson).

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Locomotion and related behaviour.

10.3 Colour change.

10.4 Reproduction.

10.5 Feeding.

10.6 Predation and reactions to predators.

10.7 Movements, migrations and rhythms.

10.8 Behaviour in relation to fishing, aquaculture and stock enhancement..

11. Atlantic flatfish fisheries (Richard Millner, StephenJ. Walsh and Juan M. Diaz de Astarloa).

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 Main species and nature of the fisheries.

11.3 History of exploitation.

11.4 Economic importance.

11.5 Management..

12. Pacific flatfish fisheries (Thomas Wilderbuer, Bruce Leaman,, Chang Ik Zhang, Jeff Fargo and Larry Paul).

12.1 Introduction.

12.2 Main species and nature of the fisheries.

12.3 History of exploitation.

12.4 Economic importance.

12.5 Management..

13. Tropical flatfish fisheries (Thomas A. Munroe).

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 Main species and nature of the fisheries.

13.3 History of exploitation.

13.4 Economic importance.

13.5 Management and conservation..

14. Assessment and management of flatfish stocks (Jake Rice, Steven X. Cadrin and William G. Clarke).

14.1 Concepts and terms.

14.2 Population dynamics, assessment and management.

14.3 Assessment and management summary.

14.4 Conclusions..

15. Aquaculture and stock enhancement (B.R. Howell and Y. Yamashita).

15.1 Introduction.

15.2 Hatchery production of larvae and juveniles.

15.3 Intensive farming.

15.4 Stock enhancement.

15.5 Conclusions.

Appendix 1.

Appendix 2.

Index of scientific and common names.

Subject index.

"A solid, up-to-date book that advanced students and research scientists with interests in fish biology will find interesting and useful." (Aquaculture International, August 2008)

"The result is a data-rich book that outlines much of what you might ever want to know about flatfishes and more, but which also underscores how much more there is that remains unknown." (Fish and Fisheries, Vol 7, Issue 1, March 2006)

"The book is well presented with clear illustrations and is a valuable source of information for those with a general interest in fish ecology or for the more specialist reader. You should make sure that your library has a copy." (Journal of Fish Biology, 2006)

"This book provides the reader with an excellent and very practical overview of the whole, global flatfish scene. It covers everything from distribution, ecology and behaviour, through management, to aquaculture and stock enhancement. Anyone interested in flatfish at whichever stage if the economic food chain should invest in a copy immediately." (Ausmarine)

"Because of the high quality of each chapter, written by international experts, it is a valuable reference." (Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries)

  • Outlines of systematics, distribution, reproduction, recruitment, ecology and behaviour

  • Descriptions of the major fisheries and their management

  • Full coverage of recent advances in aquaculture and stock enhancement