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Sole, Dover sole, Common sole

Solea solea

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Irish Sea
Stock detail - VIIa
Accreditation -
Fish type - White flat fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is the least sustainable fish to eat and should be avoided. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

The Irish Sea sole stock is depleted and fishing pressure is above the required MSY level. ICES advises that there be no directed fisheries for this species in the Irish Sea in 2015 and that measures be introduced to reduce bycatch and discards. Avoid eating sole from the Irish Sea.

Biology

Sole is a right-eyed flatfish (eyes on the right hand side of the body) and belongs to the family of flatfishes known as Soleidae. It spawns in spring and early summer in shallow coastal water, from April to June in the southern North Sea, from May-June off the coast of Ireland and southern England, and as early as February in the Mediterranean. Common sole become sexually mature at 3-5 years, when 25-35cm long, the males being somewhat smaller than the females. It can attain lengths of 60-70cm and weigh 3kg.The maximum reported age is 26 years. Sole is a nocturnal predator and therefore more susceptible to capture by fisheries at night than in daylight.

Stock information

Stock area
Irish Sea

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Stock information
The spawning stock biomass (SSB) for this stock has been below Blim since 2005. It is assessed as having reduced reproductive capacity or depleted.Fishing mortality has declined since the late 1980s but is still above target for MSY. ICES advises that there should be no directed fisheries in 2015 and that bycatch and discards should be minimised.

Management

No specific management measures are known to ICES.

Capture information

Sole are predominantly caught by beam trawlers (87%) and otter trawls (12%) in the Irish Sea. Whilst discards of sole are known to be low (6% by weight) in the beam trawl fishery, there can often be high amounts of discarding of other species. Beam trawling, especially using chain-mat gear, is known to have a significant impact on the benthic communities, although less so on soft substrates. Minimum landing size for sole in EU waters is 24cm. Sole mature at 30cm.

Read more about capture methods

Alternatives

Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below . Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.

Dab Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Halibut, Atlantic Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Halibut, Pacific

Sole, Dover sole, Common sole Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.

Turbot Depending on how and where it's caught this species ranges from sustainable to unsustainable. Click the name to display only the sustainable options.


References
ICES Advice 2014, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/sol-iris.pdf

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