Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Sanddabs, Pacific

© Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sanddabs, Pacific Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Megrim, Mottled Sanddabs, Soft Flounder U.S. Pacific Wild

Sanddabs, Wild, U.S. Pacific

Like other Pacific flatfish, sanddab is a "Good Alternative" to those from the Atlantic, where historical overfishing has reduced populations. Most sanddabs are caught using habitat damaging bottom trawls and are rated as a "Good Alternative."

Consumer Note

Over 13 species of flatfish are regularly caught in the Pacific. Common market names include sole, sanddab, turbot, plaice, fluke, flounder and halibut. Pacific flatfish, like their Atlantic cousins, are known as hirame when prepared for sushi.


Sanddabs are a small-sized flatfish native to the West Coast of North America and are a favorite West Coast seafood.

Sanddabs are caught by trawling on soft seafloor habitats along the continental shelf. Although bottom trawling on sandy or muddy seafloor is less damaging to essential fish habitat than trawling over rocky habitats, it does affect habitat and reduce species diversity. Other fishing methods, such as Scottish seine and handline, are used by some fishermen and have minimal impact on the seafloor.

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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat