Traceable Species

Pacific Sanddab

Mottled Sanddab, Soft Flounder, Melgrim

Pacific Sanddab

The Pacific sanddab is a left eyed bottom dwelling flatfish with a special knack for camouflage. Being able to change their colour and pattern to match their surroundings gives them the advantage of being invisible to their prey while hiding from their own predators. They range from the Eastern Gulf of Alaska to Baja California, Mexico, and are usually found between 120 to 300 feet deep.

Sanddabs have an elongated to oval body that ranges in colour from dull brown to tan. They are mottled with dark spots on their dorsal side with a white to pale brown ventral side. Freshly caught males will exhibit dull orange spots and blotches. Their diet of crustaceans and mollusks give them a sweet nutty flavour and moist texture, making fried Pacific sanddab a regional delicacy on the Pacific Coast.

Pacific Sanddab

Of the four sanddab species found in the Pacific Ocean, the Pacific Sanddab is the largest, commonly growing to 25 cm in length with some reaching up to 40 cm. They are mature and ready to spawn in two to three years and release their eggs near the bottom in bays and the open ocean where the water temperature is lower. Pacific sanddabs are a non-migratory species and usually spend their entire lives within a two-mile radius. Juvenile fish have been found to feed on zooplankton while the adults feast on a wide variety of squid, octopus, crustaceans and marine worms.

Food Info Pacific Sanddab


  • Colour: white 
  • Texture: lean and firm but delicate
  • Flavour: sweet nutty flavor
  • Perfect serve: Fried or sautéed are the chief cooking methods. Trim the feather bones (the sets of bones on both sides of the fish) prior to cooking for a simple to eat flatfish. When eating, stick your fork where the backbone is while pushing the meat outwards to save time picking out the tiny bones.
Species Range
Pacific Sanddab range Source:
Mottled Sanddab
Soft Flounder
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: Californian Groundfish by Bottom Trawl>], '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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