Good Fish Guide
Witch, Witch flounder, Torbay sole
Method of production - Caught at sea
Capture method - Demersal otter trawl
Capture area - North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area - Cornwall
Stock detail - VIIe,f,g and h
Fish type - White flat fish
Sustainability overviewFind out more at the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide
Witch is common in the northern North Sea, west of the British Isles, in Icelandic waters and along the North American east coast. It is a right-eyed flat fish (both eyes on the right-hand side of the body) belonging to a group of fish known as the family Pleuronectidae. Witch spawn in summer, have a slow growth rate, and reach sexual maturity in 3-4 years. Witch on average live for about 14 years, but the maximum reported age is 25 years. The species is mainly found on soft sea bottoms, mostly clay or clean sand, around 100-400 m depth. Their main diet consists of crustaceans, worms, brittle stars and fish.
Witch is mainly a bycatch species and as such the fishery is currently largely unmanaged. The only management of the fishery is under a combined total allowable catch (TAC) with lemon sole. Scientists are concerned this prevents effective control of single species exploitation rates and could potentially leading to overfishing of either species.
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.
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