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Turbot (Psetta maxima)

Its Latin name suggests this fish is a colossus amongst fish and indeed it is. The colour of the skin is a beautifully camouflaged dark and speckled array colours. In its own environment on the seabed it would be invisible and this helps it as one of the largest and most successful predators. The dark skin is covered in tubercules (hard, horn-like lumps) and if you run your hand over it almost feels reptilian.

Turbot eggs are amazing as they contain a droplet of oil which makes them float. This means that they are less susceptible to bottom feeding predators, as they hatch and develop. As with other flat fish Turbot start life as tiny fry upright and round with one eye on each side of the head. As they mature one eye migrates around to join the other. This enables the fish to be successful bottom feeders that they are. Their dark top skin also provides fantastic camouflage for these fish.

The catch method is usually beam trawling which can be destructive, although increasingly boats in the South West are using rollers and benthic release panels to minimise seabed damage and reduce bycatch respectively.