Paralichthys aestuarius


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Paralichthys aestuarius
Species Authority: Gilbert & Scofield, 1898
Common Name/s:
English Cortez Halibut
Spanish Lenguado Alabato, Lenguado de Cortés
Paralichthys magdalenae Abbot, 1898; en Jordan and Evermann, 1898

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-25
Assessor/s: van der Heiden, A.M. & Findley, L.T.
Reviewer/s: Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.
Contributor/s: De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.

This species is relatively common throughout its restricted range. However, more information is needed to assess the impact of fishing activities on this species population. It is listed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Paralichthys aestuarius is endemic to the Mexican Pacific, and is found near central Baja California and in the Gulf of California.  The most northwestern record on Baja California needs verification, as a continuous distribution from that record to the tip of the peninsula is suspect.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Paralichthys aestuarius is relatively common throughout its range.  However, there has been a decline in mean size of the larger individuals of this species in fishery catches.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Paralichthys aestuarius is present in coastal areas at the mouth of estuaries and in brackish water habitats, on soft substrates, at depths to 95 m (Galván-Magaña et al. 2000).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species is commonly caught as by-catch in shrimp trawling activities (Pérez-Mellado and Findley, 1985) and is also directly fished in localised areas (e.g. Puerto Penasco and Bahia Kino in Mexico). Research is needed to address the suggesting evidence of population decline due to fishing pressures and the disappearance of large individuals.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for Paralichthys aestuarius.  Although its distribution coincides with a number of marine protected areas in Mexico (WDPA 2006), enforcement of fishing regulations in these areas is negligible.

Further research is needed to confirm anecdotal evidence of population decline due to fishing pressures and the disappearance of large individuals.
Citation: van der Heiden, A.M. & Findley, L.T. 2010. Paralichthys aestuarius. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 23 April 2014.
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