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Plaice

Pleuronectes platessa

Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Eastern Channel
Stock detail - VIId
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 not a good choice of sustainable fish to eat and should be only eaten very occasionally. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find more sustainable fish to eat.


Sustainability overview

Plaice is a long-lived species and subject to high fishing pressure. The state of the stock in this area is unknown however stock biomass has increased and is currently around the highest level. Trawl fisheries are associated with high levels of discarding, 30-40% in number. Avoid eating immature plaice below 30cm and during their breeding season, January to March.

Biology

Plaice is a bottom-dwelling flatfish. It spawns in the early months of the year (January to March) and sometimes makes long spawning migrations. North Sea plaice reach between 35 and 45cm in their 6th year. It is a long-lived species, becoming sexually mature at 3-7 years (females) 2-6 (males) and living 30 years or more. Maximum reported age 50 years.

Stock information

Stock area
Eastern Channel

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Stock information
Fishing mortality has declined since the mid 1990s and is presently among the lowest in the time-series. Spawning stock biomass declined from the 1990s to a record low (2003-08) but has subsequently increased. It is currently around the highest level of the time-series. As a minimum measure, no increase in fishing effort is recommended. ICES recommends that landings of plaice should be no more than 3279t in 2015 (3925 t in 2014) and discarding should be reduced.

Management

No specific management objectives are known to ICES.

Capture information

Plaice in this area is mainly caught in 80 mm beam-trawl fisheries (39%) for sole and in mixed demersal fisheries using otter trawls (30%). Trammel nets are also used (16%). Bottom trawling can cause damage to the seabed in sensitive areas. Trawl fisheries for plaice have bycatch of both commercial and non-commercial species and high levels of discarding associated with them, particularly for flatfish. Survey information indicates percentages of discards of 30-40% in number. The minimum landing size for plaice in EU waters is 27cm. The approximate size at which 50% of females mature or first spawn is around 30-34cm.

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

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

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

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

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

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 6 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/ple-eche.pdf

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