Good Fish Guide
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
Fish type - White flat fish
The stock size has declined to the lowest observed level. Fishing pressure is too high and total catches unknown. Discards are in the order of 35% (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.
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 45 cm 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.
This is a trend-based assessment. Spawning-stock biomass (SSB) has been lower than average since 2002 and the 2016 SSB is the lowest of the time-series. Fishing mortality (F) is highly variable but shows no long-term trend. Recruitment-at-age 4 in 2015 was also the lowest in the time-series. Stock size has declined to the lowest observed level and fishing pressure is too high and estimated as above the proxy for F MSY. The apparent reduction in SSB in 2015 is mainly driven by a reduction in relative abundance of young fish in recent years. However, it is unclear to scientists whether this lack of young fish in the landings is due to increased discarding or poor recruitment. Discards are in the order of 35% for otter trawls.
No specific management objectives are known to ICES. Because plaice is caught in distinct areas, restricting effort in areas where plaice are caught will be more effective than limiting total landings.
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 unknown as the total catch is unknown but are in the order of 35%. 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.
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 2016, Book 5 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/ple-7h-k.pdf
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