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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 - Southwest Ireland
Stock detail - VIIh-k
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

The state of the stock although unknown is increasing. Fishing mortality is too high. Discards are in the order of 30% (by weight). Plaice is a long-lived species and is vulnerable to high fishing pressure. 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
Southwest Ireland

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Stock information
There is no accepted analytical assessment for this stock. Reference points are not defined and stock status is unknown. Spawning stock biomass is low since 2005. The spawning stock biomass is estimated to have decreased by 6% between the periods 2010-2012 (average of three years) and 2013-2014 (average of tow years). Fishing mortality, although stable since 2008, is too high and well above potential reference points. ICES advises that there should be a 4% reduction in landings and that they should be no more than 135 tonnes in 2014 and 2015. Scientists also advise that bycatch and discards should be reduced. Discards are in the order of 30%.

Management

No specific management objectives are known to ICES.

Capture information

Plaice catches in Division VIIj represent half of the total catch in the area and are mainly caught by Irish vessels fishing on sandy grounds off the southwest of Ireland. Trawling is associated with discarding of unwanted fish, i.e. undersized and/or non-quota and/or over-quota species. Discard rates are high; in 2013 55% of the plaice (by number) caught in VIIjk were discarded (39% by weight). 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

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 2013, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2014/2014/ple-7h-k.pdf

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