Flounder, Summer – U.S. Atlantic, Handline
Summer Flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), commonly known as fluke, is a bottom-dwelling, left-eyed flatfish found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean from Maine to Florida. It is most abundant in the MidAtlantic Bight from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
The abundance of Summer Flounder was low in the 1980s and 1990s, but the population has increased and is now moderately abundant. However, the most recent assessment update for summer flounder indicated that overfishing is occurring. Managers have responded by reducing the commercial and recreational catch limits for summer flounder.
In the commercial fishery, the majority of summer flounder are caught with bottom trawls, but a small amount are caught with handlines, trap nets (e.g. pound nets and weirs), and bottom gillnets. The handline fishery catches few non-target species and has minimal effects on bottom ocean habitats.