Pacific Sanddab
Citharichthys sordidus

Pacific sanddab is the most common species of its genus.  Native to the northern Pacific, from Japan to California, this flatfish has the ability to change its color and pattern to match its surroundings, making it virtually invisible to predators.  Its gift for camouflage also works quite well for hunting bottom-dwelling shellfish, squid, and octopus. Sanddabs are most easily caught using bottom trawls, but with Monterey Bay waters closed to trawling fishermen have increased the use of rod and reel techniques to catch these tasty fish.

Check out this video to learn more about sanddab fishing in Monterey Bay.

Lifespan: 10 – 13 years

Size: 8 to 16 inches and 1/3 lb to 2lbs

Distribution: Found bottom dwelling at around 120 to 300 feet deep

How fished: Bottom trawling, Scottish seine, and rod and reel

Why sustainable: Consistent landings indicate that populations are stable.  Bottom trawling for sand dabs is highly regulated under the Catch Shares program, which has reduced fishing pressure.

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Good Alternative

NOAA FishWatch Rating: No information

Nutrition (per 100g): Omega-3 0.2g

Photo by elasmodiver.com

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