Scophthalmus maximus

The turbot is a large almost perfectly round flatfish that turns the wrong way. That is, most northern flatfishes face the left side up (where they eyes are) while the turbot (also the megrim) face the right side up. It can reach about 1 m length, which means it can be almost 1 m wide also. 


It is found in European waters from Norway to the Mediterranean Sea. It is not found in the Barents Sea and is only a vagrant in Icelandic waters, it likes to have relatively temperate waters. It is not found in American waters or the Pacific but a closely related species are found off the eastern coast of North America, the windowpane flounder (Scophthalmus aquosus). The turbot is mostly found in shallow waters on a sandy bottom.


The turbot is a rather common vagrant in Icelandic waters and has been found all around Iceland but mostly in the warmer southern waters. Individuals have been found in Icelandic waters that were ready to spawn but so far young juveniles have not been found. So successful spawning in Icelandic waters is still unlikely but with warming waters this species might become “fully Icelandic”. 


The turbot is a very valuable fish and therefore sought after in European waters. However, it is nowhere really common so it is mostly bycatch in other flatfish fisheries. The turbot has been successfully raised in aquaculture. The largest farming is now in China where the Turbot does not occur naturally. A small amount has been reported in catches in Icelandic waters, especially previously by foreign fleets. These numbers are somewhat dubious. The turbot was farmed for a while in Iceland by collecting live individuals fished there and having them spawn in captivity.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This