Paralichthys dentatus ON EXHIBIT:
Tropical Cove Touch Tank in Ocean Journey
Summer flounder are a flat-bodied fish that can live up to 14 years. Summer flounder are like chameleons, able to change the color of their skin to camouflage with the bottom habitat over which they lay. While they may use this camouflage to hunt small fish from the ocean bottom, they are more active than other flatfishes and may even leap out of the water while dashing in pursuit of their prey. Summer flounder are one of the most popular recreational catches along the Atlantic Coast.
Summer flounder is a left-eyed flatfish (both eyes are on the left side of its body when viewed from above with the top fin facing up). When larvae develop into juveniles, their right eye moves across the top of the head to the left side.
Summer flounder are a recent success story in fisheries management. Their numbers fell in the 1980s and 1990s, but recently, stocks have recovered due to effective fishery management. They are fished with bottom trawls, which must have a Turtle Exclusion Device (TED) to reduce sea turtle bycatch.