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Overview

Brief Summary

Dab have eyes on the right side of their body, just like plaice and flounder. They are plentiful on the bottom of the Wadden and North Seas. Dab is not a popular consumption fish in the Netherlands. Turbot and brill and regarded highly but not the ordinary dab. It is even referred to as the 'weed of the sea'. In earlier days, you could see dab hanging on lines to dry in the wind in fishing villages. This was an unusual delicacy. Nowadays, dab is an export fish for Japan, where it is much more valued!
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Adults live mainly on sandy bottoms, from a few meters to about 100 m. Feed mainly on crustaceans and small fishes. Batch spawner (Ref. 51846). Marketed fresh, dried or salted, smoked and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, broiled, boiled. microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988).
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Description

 The dab is a small and very common flatfish, similar in general shape to the plaice Pleuronectes platessa, and flounder Platichthys flesus. Both eyes are on the right side of the body. The basic colour is brown with darker blotches and small speckles. Some fish may have a few orange spots but these are not as well developed as they are in the plaice, Pleuronectes platessa. The most characteristic feature is the lateral line, which is strongly arched. Most dab reach only 25 cm long but individuals up to 42 cm have been found.Spawning depends on water temperature and therefore on latitude but is in spring and early summer around Britain. Dab will eat almost any bottom-living animal they catch. This includes brittlestars, small sea urchins, fish, worms, crustaceans and molluscs. The dab has a characteristic method of feeding (which it shares with the lemon sole). The fish raises its head and front part of the body up over a suitable site and waits for a prey to emerge. It then strikes rapidly down and bites it. In spite of their small size, they are a popular food fish with a good flavour and are moderately important commercially. They are caught in trawls and seine nets.
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Description

The dab is similar in shape to the plaice and flounder and also has both eyes on the right-hand side of the body. The upper surface is usually pale brown in colour with scattered darker blotches and speckles, however the pectoral fins may be orange. The most distinctive characteristic of the dab is the lateral line which has a strong semi-circular curve above the pectoral fin. This species rarely grows to over 40cm long and most individuals are less than 30cm. The dab is similar in overall appearance to the plaice and flounder but can be distinguished by the characteristic shape of the lateral line.
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Distribution

Baltic Sea, North Sea, Eastern North Atlantic.
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Northeast Atlantic: Bay of Biscay to Iceland and Norway; Barents and White seas; also Baltic Sea.
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Geographic Range

Found along the Western European coasts of Iceland, from the White Sea to the Bay of Biscay. Also found in the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland, and is most prevalent in the Southern North Sea.

Biogeographic Regions: atlantic ocean (Native )

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Common all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland, particularly in the North Sea.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Limanda limanda are distinguished from other flatfish by having both eyes on the right side of their head; furthermore, the scales on the eyed-side are rough and toothed. Their color varies from pale yellow to a brown/green hue.

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Size

Maximum size: 400 mm SL
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Max. size

40.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4705)); max. published weight: 1,000 g (Ref. 35388); max. reported age: 12 years (Ref. 9988)
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth: 20 - 150m.
From 20 to 150 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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Environment

demersal; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); marine; depth range 20 - 150 m (Ref. 9988)
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Dabfish are common to sandy, muddy bottom waters. They live in shallower waters in the summer (20-40m). In the fall, they are found in muddy bottoms up to 150 meters in depth.

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; coastal

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Depth range based on 362887 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 227619 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): -9 - 324
  Temperature range (°C): 2.641 - 12.274
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.212 - 16.868
  Salinity (PPS): 6.901 - 35.515
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.495 - 8.187
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.236 - 1.790
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 42.456

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): -9 - 324

Temperature range (°C): 2.641 - 12.274

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.212 - 16.868

Salinity (PPS): 6.901 - 35.515

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.495 - 8.187

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.236 - 1.790

Silicate (umol/l): 0.987 - 42.456
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Dab live in sandy areas from the shore down to 150 m but are most common between 20-40 m. The young live close inshore, usually in less than 1 m of water and the adults migrate inshore from deeper water in the warmer summer months.
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The dab lives mainly on sandy seabeds and is usually encountered at depths between 20-40m. It feeds on brittlestars, small sea-urchins, hermit-crabs, amphipods, worms, molluscs and sand-eels.
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Migration

Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Also feeds on benthic invertebrates (Ref. 12224).
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Food Habits

Dabfish feed upon hermit crabs, isopods, shrimp, amphipods, echinoderms, mussels, and worms. They feed during the day by waiting for their prey to pass by. They locate their food primarily with sight and attack when the prey moves, but they occasionally use smell also.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

The spawning season is from March to May. The eggs are pelagic and drift in the water currents until they hatch (roughly 4 cm). The eggs hatch in about twelve days, and sexual maturity is reached in two years while full adult size isn't reached until five years of age (22-30 cm). Female dabfish are extremely fertile, a 30 cm-sized female can produce one million eggs.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Limanda limanda

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACCCTCTATCTCGTATGTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTGGGGACAGGTCTA---AGTCTGCTCATTCGGGCAGAACTTAGCCAACCTGGGGCTCTCCTGGGAGAC---GATCAAATTTATAACGTGATCGTTACCGCACACGCCTTTGTAATAATCTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATCGGAGGGTTCGGAAACTGACTTATCCCACTAATG---ATCGGGGCCCCTGATATGGCATTCCCTCGGATGAACAACATGAGTTTCTGACTTCTACCTCCATCCTTTCTTCTTCTCCTAGCCTCTTCAGGCGTAGAAGCCGGGGCTGGAACTGGGTGAACTGTATACCCTCCGTTAGCTGGAAATCTAGCACACGCTGGAGCATCCGTAGACCTA---ACAATCTTCTCTCTTCACCTTGCCGGGATTTCATCAATCCTGGGAGCAATCAACTTTATTACCACAATCATCAACATGAAACCTACGGCAGTAACTATGTACCAAATTCCACTATTCGTGTGAGCCGTGCTAATTACAGCCGTTCTTCTCCTCCTCTCCCTTCCGGTCTTAGCCGCT---GGCATCACAATGCTACTGACAGACCGCAACCTAAACACAACTTTCTTTGACCCTGCCGGAGGGGGTGACCCCATCCTCTAC------CTATTCTGGTTC
-- end --

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Limanda limanda

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 23
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

There is no current threat to the dabfish's populations; they are protected by their high productivity.

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Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial
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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

The dabfish are important to commercial fishermen in Europe. They are popular because they have the sweetest flesh of all flatfish. They are captured by trawls and shore seines.

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Wikipedia

Common dab

The common dab (Limanda limanda) is an edible flatfish of the family Pleuronectidae. It is a demersal fish native to shallow seas around Northern Europe, in particular the North Sea, where it lives on sandy bottoms down to depths of about 100 metres (330 ft). It can reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in length and can weigh up to 1 kilogram (2.2 lb), though most specimens grow no longer than 30 centimetres (12 in).[1][2]

Taxonomy and nomenclature[edit]

The etymology of the name dab is unclear, but the modern English use seems to originate from the Middle English dabbe.[3] It is first recorded in the late 16th century.[4]

The common dab was first named Pleuronectes limanda by Carl Linnaeus in the 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. It has also been moved to other genera, including Liopsetta, and is now known as Limanda limanda.[5]

Identification[edit]

The common dab has a similar appearance to both the plaice and the flounder, and similarly has both its eyes normally on the right-hand side of its body. The upper surface is usually pale brown in colour with scattered darker blotches and speckles, but does not have the orange spots typical of a plaice. The pectoral fins may be orange. The lateral line is marked by a distinctive semi-circular curve above the pectoral fin. The dorsal and anal fins form a gently rounded curve round the margin of the body. The scales have rough posterior edges and this fish has no large bony projections. A typical size is in the range 25 to 40 cm (10 to 16 in).[2][6]

Diet[edit]

The common dab's diet consists of zoobenthos organisms such as marine worms, molluscs, sand eels, amphipods, crustaceans and echinoderms.[2]

Distribution[edit]

The common dab is found in coastal waters in the norteastern Atlantic Ocean. Its range extends from the Bay of Biscay to Iceland and the White Sea and includes the North Sea and the western part of the Baltic Sea.[7]

Commercial fishing[edit]

The dab is an abundant fish and until recently was mostly ignored as a commercial fish, with most dab only retained when they were caught as by-catch of other targeted species.[8][9] However, the declining numbers of other food fish such as cod and haddock has seen dab become an increasingly important commercial species.[10] They are now targeted by an increasing number of commercial vessels, especially in the North Sea. A number of high profile celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver have attempted to get people to eat more dab in order to take the pressure off the species of commercial fish which are currently heavily exploited.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Limanda limanda". Fishbase. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b c Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2005). "Limanda limanda". Encyclopaedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Habitas Online. Archived from the original on 2 August 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  3. ^ "dab". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  4. ^ "dab". Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House. 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  5. ^ "Synonyms of Limanda limanda". Fishbase. 7 May 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  6. ^ "Dab: Limanda limanda". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  7. ^ "Species factsheet: Limanda limanda". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved 2013-12-17. 
  8. ^ Burton, Maurice; Burton, Robert (2002). "Dab". The international wildlife encyclopedia 10. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 634–5. ISBN 978-0-7614-7266-7. 
  9. ^ North Sea Task Force (1993). North Sea quality status report 1993. Fredensborg, Denmark: Olsen and Olsen. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-872349-07-7. 
  10. ^ "Dab". British Sea Fishing. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Mediterranean-style Dab". JamieOliver.com. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
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