Good Fish Guide
Sole, Dover sole, Common sole
Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Beam trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - West of Ireland
Stock detail - VIIb and c
Fish type - White flat fish
The state of the stock in this area is unknown, landings have been low for many years and scientific advice is to reduce catches by 20%. It is best to avoid eating sole from this area until a reliable assessment can be carried out on the stock.
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.
West of Ireland
Stock status is unknown as there is insufficient information available to evaluate it and determine reference points. Landings have been low for several decades. ICES advises that catches in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and 2017 should decrease by 20%, corresponding to catches of no more than 30t in each of these years.
No specific management objectives are known to ICES, there is no management plan for sole in the area.
Sole is caught in mixed fisheries targeting other demersal fish species, and Nephrops. Minimum landing size for sole in EU waters is 24cm. There is a potential for damage to the seabed by trawling. Trawling is also associated with discarding of unwanted fish, i.e. undersized and/or non-quota and/or over-quota species. Beam trawl fisheries especially are associated with high discards of immature plaice and other flat fish.
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.
ICES Advice 2015, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2015/2015/sol-7b-c.pdf
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