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LAT Scophthalmus maximus
ITA Rombo chiodato
A Royal Flatfish
Turbot is one of the most sought-after fish in high-end gastronomy for a reason: its aromatic, juicy and firm flesh makes it a heavenly delicacy. Specimens from Brittany and Normandy are considered the best among gourmets.
It is interesting to note that larger turbots are better than smaller ones. Fish weighing less than 1 kg have a less pronounced aroma and their meat becomes dry more quickly.
All year round
Interesting to Know
The turbot as a left-sided flatfish (eyes on the left side of the body) is easily recognizable by the large bony bumps on its upper side. It lives on sandy to stony bottoms near the coast of the northeast Atlantic from northern Norway to Portugal, in the Baltic Sea as well as in the Mediterranean and Black Seas at depths of 20 – 70 meters. Its diet consists of other demersal fish such as sand eels or gobies.
The turbot reaches sexual maturity at around 4 – 5 years and about one kilogram of body weight, with females laying 10 to 15 million eggs between April and August. The turbot is one of the fastest growing flatfish and reaches a length of about 30 cm after about 3 years, with females growing faster than males. Adult specimens can live for over 20 years and reach a size of over one meter and a weight of over 12 kg.
Fisheries and Sustainability
Turbot is usually not specifically fished, but is a sought-after bycatch for trawls, gillnets and line fisheries.
The stocks in the Northeast Atlantic are considered stable and can be fished sustainably.
As it is a demersal fish, the fishing method is of great importance from an ecological point of view. Bottom trawls can cause considerable damage to the seabed, which is why Original Fish prefers turbot from line and gillnet fisheries (also for quality reasons).
Turbot is farmed on a larger scale in Spain, Portugal, France and, to a lesser extent, in the Netherlands. The taste and texture of farmed turbot can’t compete with wild-caught turbot.