Starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus)

Starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus) Pacific or river – one of the most widely distributed in the Northern Pacific ocean species of flatfish that is found everywhere in the Japan, Okhotsk and Bering seas from the shores of Korea to the Anadyr Gulf.

The unit penetrates into the Chukchi sea. On the American coast noted to the South all the way to California.

Body high, usually left-sided, densely covered (instead of scales) spiny stellate plates (hence the name). The coloration of the eye side is brown or dark olive, blind – white. On the dorsal and anal fins bright black bands, prominent on both sides of the body. D 52-68; A 36-51; P 11; GR 12-13; Vert.34-35.

Demersal fish of a large size. In some areas reaches a length of 91 cm and weight of 9.1 kg In the waters of Primorye her limits are smaller: length 54 cm, weight 3 kg. catches tend to be dominated by individuals with a length of 30 to 45 cm and a mass of 0.5-1.0 kg. By the nature of the habitat starry flounder shallow – water species, tolerate significant fluctuations in salinity (from fresh water to 34 ‰) and water temperature (from -1.8 to 20.0 °C).

Found near the coast, in harbors, bays, mouths of rivers. In summer it is at depths of 10-75 m, winter leaves on depths of 50-100 m. there are cases of her visits and capture in the rivers of Primorye, in particular, in the Razdolnaya river. The spawning occurring in shallow depths, often under ice at a temperature of bottom waters from -0.4 V to 1.3 °C, stretched from March to June. Fertility to 2.9 million eggs. The eggs are small, pelagic. Starry flounder feeds on worms, bivalves, crustaceans, echinoderms, fish fry.

Marine brackish water species in temperate and Arctic latitudes, widespread in the Northern part of the Pacific ocean. Off the coast of Primorye found everywhere, but usually in small quantities. Habitat starry flounder is huge: it covers the coastal waters of Asia and North America all the way from South Korea to the Chukchi sea and then South to California.

Is a permanent part of the catch of flatfish, especially when trawling at shallow depths, however, a significant role due to the small number of plays. To the hall. Peter the Great earlier it accounted for less than 1 % of the total catch of flatfish, recently – 1,2-3 %. In the North of Primorye, where the fishery for flatfish is poorly developed, it is also found in small amounts, usually as by-catch to other species, and its share is 0.7 %. Has good food quality. Used in fresh and frozen types.

Despite the huge area of the geographical distribution and ubiquitous occurrence in most parts of the starry flounder quite a few and only in Western Kamchatka, South-Eastern Sakhalin and in the Western part of the Bering sea and the Pacific coast of Canada, it is quite substantial by-catch of other species of flatfish. Eyes starry flounder, usually located on the left side of the body (right-hand specimens are extremely rare). Scales no. Ocular side of the body is dark olive or brown, covered with large spiny stellate plates; blind – white. On paired fins with both sides bright black bands.

Many researchers attribute the habitat of starry flounder from estuaries of rivers, shallow bays and lagoons, i.e. with a strongly freshened coastal waters, although there are cases of catching at depths of 250-300 m. And yet, with maximum catches of this flounder everywhere usually observed in most of the coastal zone. The length of starry flounder in Asian waters reaches 58 cm, weight – 3 kg and a life expectancy of up to 20 years. But from coastal waters of California is known for its specimens larger than 90 cm and 9 kg.

As follows from the second Russian title – Pacific river – this fish can enter rivers and climb up to a distance of 140-150 km from the mouth. The starry flounder spawning occurs, as a rule, near the coast in may and early June, immediately after the melting of the ice often at low temperatures of water. Fecundity ranges from 532 to 2490 thousand eggs with a diameter of about 1 mm. swept away the eggs develop in the water column, and after a certain time out of her hatch larvae, whose eyes, like all other fish, are placed on the sides of the head. However, when you reach a length of 15-20 mm larvae settle to the bottom and undergo metamorphosis, during which their eyes are shifting to the left side of the body.

Starry flounder is characterized by a wide food spectrum. Its fry feeds mainly various crustaceans, widely using as a feeding-varasteh reservoirs estuarine sections of rivers. However, specimens larger than 30 cm pass to feeding bivalves and small fish (capelin, sand eel), without neglecting food scraps and wastes of fish processing have been considered, but because the composition of their food can be a good indicator of the degree of contamination of domestic and industrial effluents estuarine zones of the rivers.

Currently stocks starry flounder universally underutilized. It is extracted mainly as a by-catch while fishing for other species of flatfish. According to experts of fisheries management institutions, the modern catch of starry flounder in certain areas (the bays of northeastern Sakhalin island and Eastern Kamchatka, Kamchatka waters of the Okhotsk sea) can be increased by 2-3 times.

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