The Southern Flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma) is gaining interest as an aquaculture species. Gulf of Maine Times report on a joint venture with a power company and a summer flounder hatchery.
A number of academic researchers are working on developing techniques for consistent flounder management. Virginia Tech have also been working with Summer Flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), as well as Southern Flounder.
North Carolina State University researchers, lead by Dr. Harry Daniels, are working on establishing practical culture methods and defining nutritionally balanced diets for the mass rearing of weaned fingerlings and commercial-scale production of fish. The researchers have also produced a variety of resources related to flounder aquaculture. The research team have also experimented with increasing temperatures to promote the development of all-female cultured stocks. Studies have shown that female flounder grow two to three times larger than male flounder within two years – a worthwhile investment from a marketing perspective. According to this report, Japan leads the way in technology for producing farm-reared flounder. They are rewarded with a market price that more than doubles that of hybrid striped bass, tilapia or trout.
Aquanic have produced a document summarising the culture and potential of southern flounder. Southern flounder have a number of advantages, not the least of which is: “Because these flounder appear to grow well in low salinity water, growout operations could be located farther from high-priced coastal areas, reducing the fixed costs associated with flounder farming.”