Approximately 90 species of Flounder, not often differentiated at market. The most commonly seen species are Greenback (previously known as Melbourne or Southern Flounder), Largetooth, and those belonging to the Bay Flounder Group, including Spotted and Longsnout Flounder
The NSW DPI lists the exploitation status of Flounder as 'Undefined', noting that species differentiation issues must be resolved before stock status can be measured. Forest & Bird (NZ) rank Flounder and other Flatfish from the North Island OK CHOICE (Yellow - "Ok to eat") in their Best Fish Guide. Forest & Bird (NZ) rank Flounder and other Flatfish from other locations in NZ WORST CHOICE (Red - "Do not eat") in their Best Fish Guide. Bottom Trawling can damage sea floor habitats and ecosystems. Look for seined or gillnet fish instead.
Flounders are a bottom dwelling flatfish. Most species are found inshore and to the inner continental shelf. Inshore they are taken by Danish seines, beach seines and gillnets. They are also caught as a bycatch product of trawling fisheries. Flounders (esp Greenback) are thought to have excellent aquaculture potential. Flounders are available year round. Flounder and Sole are also imported from New Zealand.
Leatherjacket is a great plate-sized fish that can be used in place of Flounder. The flat nature of a leatherjacket ‘trunk’ makes it ideally suited to cooking on the bone much like flounder. Try grilling, BBQ’ing, baking or frying this firm white fish.
The popularity of Flounder is due largely to its plate-size and attractive presentation potential when served as a whole fish. FLATHEAD are a good alternative for whole presentation, and their mild flavour and dry flesh suits cooking on the bone as Flounder does. Bake whole, stuff or serve ‘a la meuniere’; lightly floured and then panfried with a parsley and caper butter and finished with lemon juice.