Conservation status

Two pleuronectids are cited by the IUCN—the Atlantic halibut, which is listed as Endangered, and the yellowtail flounder, which is listed as Vulnerable. Overfishing is primarily responsible for reductions in many flatfish populations, especially for large, commercially important species. Throughout the world, stocks of commercially important flatfishes are considered to be fully exploited—for many, even overexploited. Other factors contributing to reductions in populations of flatfishes include habitat destruction and pollution, especially serious situations for flatfishes that utilize estuaries and other coastal habitats, such as sea grass meadows and mangrove forests, as nursery habitats.

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