DFPO Denmark North Sea plaice
Certified as sustainable in March 2011.
Species: European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)
Location: North Sea (ICES area IV)
Fishing methods: Set net, Danish seine and demersal trawl
Vessels: 150 set net, 30 Danish Seine & 100 trawl
Number of fisheries: 1
Fishery Fact Sheet
More about plaice
Plaice is a demersal species generally living on sandy substrates but may also be found on mud and gravel. The species is easily identified throughout its life history. As juveniles and adults, plaice have a striking appearance and can be readily distinguished from other flatfish species by their general colour and markings.
The eyed, right hand, side is a warm greenish brown with bright red to orange spots on it and the underside is a pearly white. This coloration varies with the substrate into which it very lightly merges.
Plaice is a shallow water species found from the near coast as juveniles down to around 150 metres in northern waters. In the North Sea it is generally found in depths less than 100 metres. The species is widely distributed on the continental shelf from the Bay of Biscay in the south through the English Channel, North Sea and Irish Sea to the Baltic, Iceland, the Norwegian coast and Barents Sea in the north.
More about the fishing methods
Employed in this fishery is a bottom set gill net with vessels specially designed for static gear operations, with a net hauler typically on the forward starboard quarter and sufficient deck space for sorting and storing the catch and for sorting and storing the nets. For most of the large set net vessels there is a covered shelter deck for all net handling and catch sorting. The vessels make use of two different types of bottom set net, both of which are covered within this Unit of Certification; namely the Trammel Net and the gill net.
The majority of plaice landings are made with a trammel net. The trammel net used by this fleet is a triple mesh net, anchored to the seabed with a total height of around 1.5m. The inner central mesh is 150mm, sandwiched between 2 outer mesh layers (trammels) of 350mm.
A gill net consists of a single netting wall kept more or less vertical by a float line and a weighted ground line. The net is set on the bottom, and kept stationary by anchors on both ends and at 50m intervals. A gill net mesh size is chosen to allow only the head and gill covers of the targeted size of fish to pass through and be trapped.
The Danish Seine, or anchor seine, is a ground fishing method for demersal fish where there the
warps and net (conical net with two long wings) are laid out from an anchored dhan buoy by the
vessel, that surround the proposed fishing spot.
The demersal trawl is a towed fishing gear designed and rigged to have bottom contact during fishing, towed by large trawl vessels, typically in excess of 15m. A demersal trawl is a cone-shaped net consisting of a body, closed by a codend and with lateral wings extending forward from the opening. The two towing warps lead from the vessel to the otter boards which act as paravanes to maintain the horizontal net opening. These boards typically weigh between 0.5–2 t and drag across the seabed. The boards are joined to the wing-end by the bridles which herd fish into the path of the net. The net opening is framed by a floating headline and ground gear designed according to the bottom condition to maximise the capture of demersal target species, whilst protecting the gear from damage. On very rough substrates special rock hopper gears are used.
Plaice landed in Denmark is mainly exported as chilled whole fish to Northern European markets, consumed domestically and to a lesser degree exported as frozen fillets to a variety of European countries.
Actual eligibility date
1st September 2010