Flounder is highly valued commercially for its lean, white meat and light, delicate flavour, and it is also one of the most popular recreational fish on the Baltic coast. Summer flounder is sold whole and in fillets, and is available fresh or frozen. Its skin is edible and its flaky white meat has a delicate flavour and fine texture. Flounder is a good low-fat source of B vitamins and an excellent source of niacin.
Flounder are a group of flatfish species. They are demersal fish found at the bottom of coastal lagoons and estuaries of the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The European flounder (Platichthys flesus) is a flatfish of European coastal waters from the White Sea in North to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in South. Introduced into the USA and Canada accidentally through transport in ballast water. It is a well-known food fish.
The European flounder is oval in shape and is usually right-eyed. It usually grows to 25-30 cm in length, although lengths up to 50 cm have been recorded. The upper surface is usually dull brown in colour with reddish-brown blotches and the underside is white. This fish can change colour to suit its background, providing an effective camouflage. The lateral line features rows of small tubercles, as do the bases of the dorsal and anal fins.
Flounder is a common name for various marine fish in the Order Pleuronectiformes (flatfish), and in particular those comprising the families Bothidae (lefteye flounders), Pleuronectidaea (righteye founders), Achiropsettidae (southern flounders), Paralichthyidae (large-tooth flounders), and Psettodidae (spiny flounders). All members of the order—which includes soles, flounders, halibuts, plaice, sole, and turbot—are characterized by adults that are not bilaterally symmetrical, with one eye in the upright swimming, bilaterally symmetrical, young flatfish migrating to lie adjacent to the other eye, and the adults then swimming on the eyeless side. The term flounder is not a formal taxonomic rank, but rather is the common name used for numerous species scattered over several families. Sometimes the fluke, halibut, and plaice are types of flounder.
Flounders contribute value to the ecosystem and to humans. They are integral in marine food chains, consuming fish, crustaceans, and polychaetes, and being consumed at various life stages by such invertebrate and vertebrates as jellyfish, crabs, shrimps, fish, birds, seals and sea lions.