Traceable Species

Atlantic Butterfish

Dollarfish, Shiner, Skipjack, Sheepshead, Harvestfish

Atlantic Butterfish

The Atlantic butterfish is distinguished by its very thin, deep body, resembling a flounder on edge. It earned its buttery name from its high oil content. The butterfish is a small fish with the largest weighing in at just over one pound and a foot long. It ranges along the North American coast as far south as Florida and as far north as Newfoundland.

Butterfish have a leaden bluish back and pale sides with numerous irregular dark spots which fade after death. The belly is silvery. They have long pointed pectoral fins, a short head, blunt snout, small mouth and a deeply forked tail. It is an excellent pan fish rich in flavour.

Atlantic Butterfish

Although little is know about the life of the butterfish, they typically travel in small bands or loose schools, and prefer inshore areas and sandy seafloors. They mature at two years old and begin to spawn in the Gulf of Maine in June. Females lay eggs that are buoyant, transparent and spherical. During the first summer young butterfish often live in the shelter of the large jellyfishes. The butterfish feeds on small fish, squid, Crustacea such as amphipods and shrimp, and annelid worms. 

Food Info Atlantic Butterfish


  • Colour: white
  • Texture: delicate and tender
  • Flavour: rich, oily and flavourful
  • Perfect serve: An excellent pan fish, butterfish is usually gutted with the head and skin left on. Small fish can be dipped whole in flour and deep fried. Larger fish can be split, then broiled, baked, grilled, or sautéed. The flesh turns white and opaque when cooked.
Species Range
Atlantic Butterfish range Source:
Atlantic Butterfish by Bottom Trawl (USA) Jan 01 - Dec 31
These crabs mate at the time of maturity, which is approximately 3 years of age. Females are smaller than males; this is because the development of reproductive tissues required more energy for females, leaving less energy available for continued body growth. They grow through a process known as molting—regularly shedding their shell and growing a new, larger one. They continue to molt and grow after they have reached sexual maturity. During the breeding season, the crabs leave their borrows in a phenomenon characterized by mass mate-searching events. Once mating/fertilization has occurred, females spawns in the water. The larvae released during the rainy season develop in offshore waters and return to coastal waters five to eight weeks after larval release.
Mangrove crabs are important fishery resources in all Brazilian coast, mainly in the north and northeast where many fishermen depend upon their catch. In addition to its social and economic importance, the mangrove crab is a “keystone” species in ecosystem, they playing an important role in the processes of nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

Fishing Methods

{'fisheries': [<License: Atlantic Butterfish by Bottom Trawl (USA)>], 'gear': <Gear: Bottom Trawl>}

Bottom Trawl

This fishery uses a large cone-shaped net that is dragged along the seafloor to catch fish. As the net is towed at low speed, hydrodynamic forces push two "otter boards" outwards opening the mouth of the net and capturing fish in its path.


Featured Harvester Bernie Berry

Mangrove Crab Harvester

Canavieiras, Brazil

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