Last updated on 28 February 2018

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Pleuronectes vetulus

SPECIES NAME(s)

English sole

Stewart (2007) reports that lack of data appears to be the biggest constraint to considering English sole stock structure at a finer scale than as a coastwide unit, however the limited information to date suggests that a single stock unit definition is appropriate.


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • A fully quantitative model and reference points have been developed for this species.
  • Established TACs have been well below estimated MSY levels.
Weaknesses
  • Distinct southern and northern region fisheries exist, but the stock is assessed and managed as a whole due to sufficient region specific data to parameterize regional models.
Options
  • Address research recommendations presented in Stewart (2007) to characterize uncertainty in biological data sources and regional stock dynamics.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 8

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

10

Future Health:

≥ 8


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • US West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl:

    MSC Certified

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
US west coast US Pacific United States Bottom trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 30 April 2009

Strengths
  • A fully quantitative model and reference points have been developed for this species.
  • Established TACs have been well below estimated MSY levels.
Weaknesses
  • Distinct southern and northern region fisheries exist, but the stock is assessed and managed as a whole due to sufficient region specific data to parameterize regional models.
Options
  • Address research recommendations presented in Stewart (2007) to characterize uncertainty in biological data sources and regional stock dynamics.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 1 November 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Monitor the progress in closing out conditions placed upon the MSC certification of the fishery and if agreed timelines are met. Offer assistance in closing conditions where possible.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 30 August 2012

The most recent stock assessment to evaluate the status of the US Pacific coast English sole (Parophrys vetulus) resourcebetween the Mexican and Canadian borders was conducted in 2007 (Stewart 2007). As in the 2005 assessment, data sources, which include commercial and fishery independent data, are treated separately for a southern and a northern region, but are modeled jointly to evaluate the resource as a single stock.Modeling was conducted using the most recent (at the time of the assessment) version of Stock Synthesis 2 (version 2.00e) modeling framework to estimate model parameters and management quantities.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 30 August 2012

Three alternative states of nature were investigated.The base case, which is considered most likely, estimated median SSB2007 = 41,907 tons.The alternative, which included different maturity schedules and inclusion of the NWFSC trawl survey index produced median SSB estimates of 28,610 tons and 48,140 tons, respectively.For all scenarios investigated, the English sole stock was predicted to remain above the 40% SSB target for the next five years (Stewart 2007).

Reference Points

Last updated on 30 Aug 2012

There are two types of reference points reported in the stock assessment due to temporal changes in growth and maturity. Unexploited equilibrium English sole spawning biomass (Bzero) was estimated to be 36,012 tonnes (~ 95% confidence interval: 27,219-44,805 tonnes), with a mean expected recruitment of 124,990 thousand age-0 English sole. MSY was estimated at 4,252 tonnes (2,687-5,816 tonnes), which could be produced with an SSB of 6,526 tonnes (1-13,654 tonnes) or 18.1% of SSB0 (Stewart 2007).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 30 August 2012

Following poor recruitment and low biomass levels from the mid 1970s to early 1990s, English sole biomass has increased rapidly.SSB in 2007 was estimated to be 116% of the unexploited equilibrium level, corresponding to an SPR of 90%.Harvest levels are well below both the coastwide ABC and estimated MSY (Stewart 2007).

Trends

Last updated on 30 Aug 2012

Landings in both areas have generally declined since the mid 1960s and are at nearly historical lows in recent years, well below the ABC and MSY levels. Biomass levels have been above the 40% biomass target for most of the time series, and have recently increased to 116% of the estimated virgin biomass.Following nearly two decades of low recruitment levels, English sole recruitment increased rapidly to the time series high in 1999 before dropping back to moderate levels.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 30 April 2009

English sole have been grouped into the “other flatfish” category with respect to trip-limits imposed by the Pacific Council. Regulatory limits on the landings of this category have only been specified since 2000. Recent development of modified flatfish-targeting trawl gear (King et al., 2004), designed to reduce the incidental catch of rockfish and other species has recently been incorporated into management for the northern portion of the U.S. coast. This action may allow for an increase in fishing activities for English sole and other near-shore flatfish by the commercial fishery in the future (Stewart, 2005).A catch share program was implemented in January 2011 to provide harvester greater flexibility in determining when to harvest their shares and will provide economic and environmental benefits (NOAA Fisheries, pers. comm.)

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 30 Apr 2009

The stock of English sole off the United States was not found to be currently overfished, and therefore does not require rebuilding projections.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 30 August 2012

Recent English sole landings and estimated discards have been below both the coast-wide ABC of 3,100 tonnes and the estimated MSY harvest level of 4,252 tonnes (Stewart, 2007).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 20 July 2009

Directed West Coast groundfish fisheries have consistently been categorized as Category III fisheries, meaning that they are “commercial fisheries determined by the [NMFS] Assistant Administrator to have a remote likelihood of, or no known incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals” (PFMC, 2006). This means that annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery is less than or equal to 1 percent of the PBR level.

Other Species

Last updated on 30 August 2012

English sole is part of the PFMC Groundfish Fishery Management Plan which covers over 90 species.A number of managementmeasures are in place to reduce bycatch, and bycatch levels are closely monitored.In recent years, trip limits for Petrale sole have limited harvest of English sole, but stock indicators suggest these restrictions may be lifted by the 2014 fishing season (NOAA Fisheries, pers. comm.).

HABITAT

Last updated on 20 July 2009

Current stock assessments for 4 fisheries do not specify the habitat impacts caused by fishing activities. However, these groundfish fisheries are managed with a variety of closed areas intended to either minimize the bycatch of overfished groundfish species, or to protect groundfish habitat. Many of the closed areas are gear-specific, meaning that they are closed to some particular gear types, but not others.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 20 Jul 2009

In March 2006, NOAA Fisheries Service approved a plan to establish and protect more than 130,000 square miles of marine waters off the West Coast as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for groundfish. The plan prohibits fishing methods that can cause long-term damage to the ocean floor, such as bottom trawling, within much of this area. Developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the plan is aimed at replenishing fish stocks. It covers an area from Canada to Mexico, out to 200 nautical miles in some places. The plan was developed with support and advice from both environmental and fishing industry groups, and will provide much-needed habitat protection to areas that are essential to commercially valuable fish.

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

TAC is well below estimated MSY; harvest limits on other groundfish limit harvest of English sole.

As calculated for 2008 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the Advised TAC.

The Set TAC is 9.70 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 9.70 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Advised TAC for this index is 100%.

As calculated for 2008 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the Estimated catch as a percentage of the Set TAC.

The Estimated catch is 0.381 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 9.70 ('000 t) .

The underlying Estimated catch/Set TAC for this index is 3.93%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2007 data.

The score is 10.0.

This measures the SSB as a percentage of the 40%B0.

The SSB is 41.9 ('000 t). The 40%B0 is 14.4 ('000 t) .

The underlying SSB/40%B0 for this index is 291%.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

With TAC levels below MSY, overfishing is not likely to occur

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  1. All data from Stewart 2007 except actual landings for years 2007-2010 from NMFS commercial landings database and proposed and selected TACs from PFMC 2009.

Download Source Data

Registered users can download the original data file for calculating the scores after logging in. If you wish, you can Register now.

Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

SELECT MSC

NAME

US West Coast limited entry groundfish trawl

STATUS

MSC Certified on 3 June 2014

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle Score
Principle 1 – Target Species – Arrowtooth flounder 85.6
Principle 1 – Target Species – Dover sole 84.4
Principle 1 – Target Species – English sole 85.6
Principle 1 – Target Species – Petrale sole 81.0
Principle 1 – Target Species – Lingcod (North) 93.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Lingcod (South) 88.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Sablefish 83.3
Principle 1 – Target Species – Chilipepper rockfish 88.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Longspine thornyhead 92.5
Principle 1 – Target Species – Shortspine thornyhead 92.5
Principle 1 – Target Species – Splitnose rockfish 92.5
Principle 1 – Target Species – Widow rockfish 88.8
Principle 1 – Target Species – Yellowtail Rockfish (N – Vancouver) 92.5
Principle 1 – Target Species – Yellowtail Rockfish (N – Columbia) 87.5
Principle 1 – Target Species – Yellowtail Rockfish (N – Eureka) 87.5
Principle 1 – Target Species – Yellowtail Rockfish (South) < 60
Principle 1 – Target Species – Longnose Skate 92.5
Principle 2 - Ecosystem 85.0
Principle 3 – Management System 94.4

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 27, 2007 / Rules and Regulations.http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/fr/fr72-66048.pdf
  2. Medley, P.A.H., O’Boyle, R., Pedersen, M.G., Tingley, G.A., Hanna, S. S., Devitt, S., 2014. MSC Assessment Report for United States West Coast Limited Entry Groundfish Trawl Fishery. Version 6: Public Certification Report. Intertek Fisheries Certification, June 2014. 403pphttp://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/fisheries-in-the-program/certified/pacific/us_west_coast_limited_entry_groundfish_trawl/assessment-downloads-1/20140602_PCR_V2_GRO223.pdf
  3. NOAA Fisheries, pers. comm. NOAA FishWatch English Sole Seafood Profilehttp://www.fishwatch.gov/seafood_profiles/species/sole/species_pages/english_sole.htm
  4. PFMC. 2005. Pacific Cost Groundfish Fishery Management Plan for the California, Oregon, and Washington Groundfish Fishery. Appendix C. Part 2. The Effects of Fishing on Habitat: West Coast Perspective. Pacific Fishery Management Council. November 2005.http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gffmp/gfa19/GF_FMP_App_C2.pdf
  5. PFMC. 2006. Pacific Fishery Management Council. Fishery Management Plan for The California, Oregon, and Washington Groundfish Fishery as Amended Through Amendment 19. Including Amendment 16-4. November 2006.http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gffmp/fmpthru19.pdf
  6. PFMC 2009. 2009-2010 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), January 2009.http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/current-season-management/past-management-cycles/2009-2010-final-environmental-impact-statement/
  7. STAR Panel Report. English Sole. Northwest Fisheries Science Center Seattle, WA. 18-22 April 2005http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gfsafe0406/English_sole_STAR_24May05.pdf
  8. Stewart, I.J. 2007. Updated U.S. English sole stock assessment:Status of the resource in 2007 . National Marine Fisheries Service. Northwest Fisheries Science Center. 213 pageshttp://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2007_English_sole_update_council.pdf
  9. Stewart, I.J. Status of the U.S. English sole resource in 2005. National Marine Fisheries Service. Northwest Fisheries Science Center.http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gfsafe0406/2005_English_sole_assessment.pdf
References

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