Fisheries Infosite

Flatfish 1 & 9 Combined (FLA1)
Maori name
Scientific name

Physical characteristics

There are eight species of flatfish; Yellow-belly Flounder, Sand Flounder, Greenback Flounder, Lemon Sole, NZ Sole, Brill, and Turbot.

Life cycle

Flatfish move offshore for first spawning at 2–3 years of age during winter and spring.


Flatfish are shallow water swimmers found in inshore areas such as estuaries, mudflats, and sand flats. Each species is found in different areas around New Zealand: Yellow-belly flounder – Firth of Thames, Kaipara and Manukau harbours; Sand flounder – Hauraki Gulf, Tasman/Golden Bay, Bay of Plenty, and Canterbury Bight; Greenback flounder – Canterbury Bight, Southland; Black flounder – Canterbury Bight; Lemon sole – west coast South Island, Otago and Southland; New Zealand sole – west coast South Island, Otago and Canterbury Bight; Brill and turbot – west coast South Island.

Key statistics
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025