Last updated on 30 September 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Pleuronectes platessa

SPECIES NAME(s)

European plaice

There are different spawning areas spread around Iceland, mainly in the south and west coasts, but the stock structure is not clearly known (Gunnarsson et al., 2010).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • Stock assessment is conducted yearly.
  • Stock biomass is in an increasing trend while the exploitation rates have been decreasing.
  • In recent years, set TAC has been line with the advised levels. Catches do not overpass the set TAC.
  • Different levels of area closures are in place.
  • Discarding is not allowed. Control measures such as log-books onboard and inspections are also in place.
  • PET species are not deemed to be impacted. The seabed is being mapped by MRI.
Weaknesses
  • Detailed results from stock assessments are not made public.
  • Uncertainties with biomass estimates of younger year classes remain.
  • No reference points are set.
  • Some discarding occurs illegally.
  • The impact of the fishery in the seabed ecosystem is not fully understood.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

10

Fishers Compliance:

10

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

≥ 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Please provide links to publicly available information on this fishery via the “Feedback” tab.
2.Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. This profile is not currently at the top of our priority list for development, and we can’t at this time provide an accurate prediction of when it will be developed. To speed up an evaluation of the sustainability status of non-prioritized fisheries we have initiated a program whereby industry can directly contract SFP-approved analysts to develop a FishSource profile on a fishery. More information on this External Contributor Program is available at http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-information.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

  • ISF Iceland saithe, ling, Atlantic wolffish and plaice:

    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
Icelandic Iceland Iceland Bottom trawls
Danish seines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 8 November 2013

Strengths
  • Stock assessment is conducted yearly.
  • Stock biomass is in an increasing trend while the exploitation rates have been decreasing.
  • In recent years, set TAC has been line with the advised levels. Catches do not overpass the set TAC.
  • Different levels of area closures are in place.
  • Discarding is not allowed. Control measures such as log-books onboard and inspections are also in place.
  • PET species are not deemed to be impacted. The seabed is being mapped by MRI.
Weaknesses
  • Detailed results from stock assessments are not made public.
  • Uncertainties with biomass estimates of younger year classes remain.
  • No reference points are set.
  • Some discarding occurs illegally.
  • The impact of the fishery in the seabed ecosystem is not fully understood.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 31 August 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Please provide links to publicly available information on this fishery via the “Feedback” tab.
2.Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. This profile is not currently at the top of our priority list for development, and we can’t at this time provide an accurate prediction of when it will be developed. To speed up an evaluation of the sustainability status of non-prioritized fisheries we have initiated a program whereby industry can directly contract SFP-approved analysts to develop a FishSource profile on a fishery. More information on this External Contributor Program is available at http://www.sustainablefish.org/fisheries-information.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 8 November 2013

Stock assessments are conducted yearly by the Marine Research Institute (MRI), to support advice on TAC and other fishing strategies. Stock assessments input data include both commercial fishing (e.g., landings, CPUE) and scientific surveys (MRI, undated 1). CPUE, Biomass survey indices and an age-catch analysis are used to determine the stock size and fishing mortality trends (MRI, 2013a).

Remaining uncertainties are related to the biomass estimates of younger year classes (MRI, 2013a).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 3 January 2013

The scientific advice is conducted by the Marine Research Institute (MRI), and includes quantitative advice on TACs but also on other fishing strategies (MRI, undated 1, 2013a). The precautionary principle is being gradually applied on fish stocks.

In terms of TAC advice, as for previous years the MRI recommended 6,500 tonnes for the 2013/2014 fishing year. If recruitment remains at similar levels, under such catch levels are expected to result in further decrease of fishing mortality. Area closures to protect mature stock during the spawning season should also be maintained (MRI, 2013a).

Reference Points

Last updated on 03 Jan 2013

No reference points are defined.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 8 November 2013

Stock fishable biomass (defined as 4+ year old fish) is in an increasing trend since 2000 and was estimated at around 35,000 tonnes in 2013. Fishing mortality is currently at historical lows, at around 0.30. Recruitment estimates are not available making estimates on the size of younger year classes much uncertain (MRI, 2013a).

Trends

Last updated on 08 Nov 2013

The stock decreased from 1992 to an historical minimum at around 23,000 tonnes in 2000, caused by a period of weak recruitment and high harvest rates. Since then, fishable biomass has been increasing and is currently around the long term average (35,000 tonnes). Fishing mortality has been on a decreasing trend since the mid 90-s and is currently at historical lows. Recruitment has been low in the last 10 years but stable (MRI, 2013a).

Landings reached highest values during mid-1960s and from 1984 to 1995 (around 12,000 tonnes), alternating with a low 10-year period during 1972-1983 at 5,000 tonnes average. In 1998 landings decreased sharply and have been around 6,000 tonnes since then (MRI, 2013a).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 3 January 2013

The fishery is regulated by the Directorate of Fisheries (DoF) of the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA). DoF and MRI work close to achieve sustainable and responsible fisheries (IMFA, undated 1). A system of tradable catch-quotas allocated to individual vessels (ITQs, Individual Transferable Quotas is in place. ITQs represent shares from the annual TACs set by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, and apply to the fishing year starting September 1st one year to August 31st the following year (IMFA, undated 1,3). The set TAC for 2012/2013 was in line with the advised TAC, at 6,500 tonnes (MRI, 2013a).

Other management measures include area and fishing gear restrictions and area closures to protect vulnerable habitats (IMFA, undated 1,4). According to the MRI, specific long term strategies for the main fish stocks (in which plaice is assumed to be included) are also under development (MRI, undated 1).

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 03 Jan 2013

Not applicable.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 8 November 2013

DoF is responsible by the continuous monitoring and compliance with the Fisheries Management Act. All landings need to be registered and weighted and discarding is not allowed. Inspections onboard area also carried out and logbooks are required onboard (IMFA, undated 5). Between 1999/2000 and 2007/2008 catches always overpassed the set TAC, but before and since the mentioned time period catches have been below set TACs. In 2011/2012 the total reported landings of 5,800 t were 11% below the set TAC (MRI, 2013).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 8 November 2013

A number of species of sharks and skates are known to be taken in the Icelandic fisheries, but information on catches is incomplete, and the status of these species is not known (ICES, 2013b).

There are few species of seabirds in Iceland but they are abundant (ICES, 2009c) and none is listed on IUCN’s Red List (IUCN, 2013). Marine mammal species diversity is broad, with at least 12 species occurring frequently in Icelandic waters. Of these, hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are considered by IUCN’s Red List to be ‘Vulnerable’ and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) to be ‘Endangered’ (IUCN, 2013), although other reports consider fin whales, which are commercially taken by Iceland, to be increasing in the East Greenland-Iceland area for the past 20 years and to be close to “pre-exploitation abundance” (ICES, 2008b; NAMMCO, 2003). Both belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) and narwhals (Monodon monoceros), which occur in the more northerly parts of west Greenland, are considered to be ‘Near Threatened’ (IUCN, 2013). Additionally killer whales, long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), northern bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus) and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are present but their stock status are unknown (IUCN, 2013). No estimates of the impacts of the fishery on endangered species could be located.

The trunkback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), a Red List ‘Critically Endangered’ species (IUCN, 2013), has been reported in Icelandic waters but there are no records of fishing bycatch (IMFA, undated 2).

Other Species

Last updated on 8 November 2013

Although discards are prohibited and all catches assumed to be landed (IMFA, undated 1), there are reports that some degree of illegal discarding still occurs (BOI, 2011). Bycatch species are not listed.

HABITAT

Last updated on 8 November 2013

The effect of bottom trawl on the seabed ecosystem varies with the habitat type, gravel and sand, and can have indirect implications on the feeding success and growth rate of European plaice (Shepard et al., 2010). MRI is mapping the Icelandic seabed and monitoring the impact of the fisheries in the seabed ecosystem (MRI, 2012b). The impact of the used fishing gears is not known, however. Fishing pressure impacts both juvenile and mature individuals that aggregate in spawning areas (Hoarau et al., 2005).

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 08 Nov 2013

Area closures are a common management tool for spawning grounds and vulnerable habitats. Areas defined to protect the mature stock during the spawning season are also in force since 2002 (MRI, 2013a).

Iceland
Iceland
Bottom trawls

Last updated on 8 November 2013

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 08 Nov 2013

Area closures are a common management tool, for spawning grounds and vulnerable habitats. Permanent closures are defined off NW and North coast of Iceland for bottom trawls; off East, South and West coast bottom trawling access depends on vessel size and engine power. Seasonal areas in the South shore are closed to bottom trawling (IMFA, undated 4). 

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

No specific management plan is known for the stock. However, several management measures are in place, such as TACs and seasonal closures, based on regular stock assessments and scientific advice (MRI, 2013; IMFA, undated 1).

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Set TAC is 6.50 ('000 t). The Advised TAC is 6.50 ('000 t) .

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

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is 10.0.

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

The Landings is 5.80 ('000 t). The Set TAC is 6.50 ('000 t) .

The underlying Landings/Set TAC for this index is 89.2%.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Stock status cannot be evaluated against biomass reference points, but fishable stock biomass has been increasing since 2000 and is currently estimated at around the long term average. (MRI, 2013).

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Fishing mortality has been decreasing since 2000 and is currently at historical lows. The latest harvest levels appear to not be causing detrimental effects on the stock, as fishable stock (ages 4+) shows an increasing trend since 2000 (MRI, 2013).

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.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
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. Lack of a fishing mortality and biomass reference points prevents calculation of scores #1, #4 and #5, thus partial qualitative scores have been attributed based on available information. 
  2. 2014 refers to the 2013/2014 fishing year, starting in 1st September 2013 until 31st August 2014.  
  3. From 1981 landings are split by gear type.

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

ISF Iceland saithe, ling, Atlantic wolffish and plaice

STATUS

MSC Certified on 11 September 2014

SCORES

Principle Level Scores:

Principle  Saithe     Ling     Wolfish Plaice
Principle 1 – Target Species - Saithe 91.9 82.5 80.0 84.4
Principle 2 - Ecosystem - Demersal trawl 87.0
Principle 2 - Ecosystem - Longline 84.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem - Danish seine 89.0
Principle 2 - Ecosystem - Handline 86.3
Principle 2 - Ecosystem - Nephrops trawl 87.3
Principle 3 – Management System 90.3

Atlantic wolfish and plaice certified in 2017.

Certification Type: Silver

Sources

Credits
  1. Blue Ocean Institute (BOI), 2012. European plaice – Iceland, bottom longline caught, 18 pp.http://blueocean.org/documents/2012/03/plaice-european-iceland-bottom-longline.pdf
  2. Directorate of Fisheries (DoF), 2012a. Icelandic centre of the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, Quota status (total) within Icelandic EEZ, Fishing year 01 September 2012 to 31 August 2013.http://en.fiskistofa.is/heildastodur.php
  3. FAO, 2004. Information on fisheries management in the Republic of Iceland, November 2004. last accessed on 28 December 2012http://www.fao.org/fi/oldsite/FCP/en/ISL/body.htm
  4. Gunnarsson, B., Jonasson, J. P., McAdam, B. J. 2010. Variation in hatch date distributions, settlement and growth of juvenile plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) in Icelandic waters, Journal of Sea Research, 64: 61-67 http://www.hafro.is/Bokasafn/Greinar/j_sea_res_64-61.pdf
  5. Hoarau, G., Boon, E., Jongma, D. N., Ferber, S., Palsson, J., Van der Veer, H. W., Rijnsdorp, A. D., Stam, W. T., Olsen, J. L., 2005. Low effective population size and evidence for inbreeding in an overexploited flatfish, plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.), Proceedings of the Royal Society, 272(1562):497-503http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15799945
  6. ICES, 2009c. Report of the North Western Working Group (NWWG), 29 April - 5 May 2009, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen. Diane Lindemann. 655 pp.http://www.ices.dk/publications/library/Pages/default.aspx
  7. ICES, 2013b. Report of the North Western Working Group (NWWG), 25 April - 02 May 2013, ICES Headquarters, Copenhagen. ICES CM 2013/ACOM:07. 1538 pp.http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/acom/2013/NWWG/NWWG%202013.pdf
  8. IMFA, undated 1. Management of the Icelandic Fisheries. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA) Website. last accessed on 05 November 2013.http://www.fisheries.is/management/
  9. IMFA, undated 2. Marine Mammals. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA) Website. last accessed on 05 November 2013.http://www.fisheries.is/ecosystem/marine-life/marine-mammals
  10. IMFA, undated 3. Individual Transferable Quotas. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA) Website. last accessed on 05 November 2013.http://www.fisheries.is/management/fisheries-management/individual-transferable-quotas/
  11. IMFA, undated 4. Area closures. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA) Website. last accessed on 05 November 2013.http://www.fisheries.is/management/fisheries-management/area-closures/
  12. IMFA, undated 5. Enforcement - Icelandic Fisheries. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA) Website. last accessed on 05 November 2013. http://www.fisheries.is/management/fisheries-management/enforcement/
  13. IMFA, undated 6. Main Species: Plaice Pleuronectes platessa. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture (IMFA) Website. last accessed on 06 November 2013.http://www.fisheries.is/main-species/flatfishes/plaice/
  14. IUCN, 2013. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 17 July 2013.http://www.iucnredlist.org
  15. MRI, 2009. State of Marine Stocks in Icelandic Waters 2008/2009 Prospects for the Quota Year 2009/2010. Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland. 179 pp.http://www.hafro.is/Astand/2009/Astandsskyrsla_2009.pdf
  16. MRI, 2011a. State of Marine Stocks in Icelandic waters 2010/2011 – Prospects for the Quota Year 2011/2012. Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland. 185 pp.http://www.hafro.is/Astand/2011/ASTANDSSKYRSLA_HAFRANNSOKNASTOFNUNARINNAR_2011.pdf
  17. MRI, 2011b. Plaice. Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture Webpage. [Accessed on 18 July 2011].http://www.fisheries.is/main-species/flatfishes/plaice/
  18. MRI, 2012a. State of stocks 2011/2012, Prospects 2012/2013. Marine Research Institute. Reykjavik, Iceland. 182 pp.http://www.hafro.is/Astand/2012/all_english.pdf
  19. MRI, 2012b. Effects of fishing activities on benthic ecosystems. Marine Research Institute website. last accessed on 03 January 2012http://www.hafro.is/undir_eng.php?ID=16&REF=2
  20. MRI, 2013. State of Marine Stocks in Icelandic waters 2012/2013 – Prospects for the Quota Year 2013/2014. Marine Research Institute. Reykjavik, Iceland. 190 pp.http://www.hafro.is/Astand/2013/astand-kynning2013.pdf
  21. MRI, undated 1. Scientific advice. Marine Research Institute (MRI) Website. last accessed on 08 November 2013.http://www.hafro.is/Astand/2013/english/fjolrit-169-english.pdf
  22. Shephard, S., Brophy, D., Reid, D. G. 2010. Can bottom trawling indirectly diminish carrying capacity in a marine ecosystem? Marine Biology, 157:2375–2381https://springerlink3.metapress.com/content/m0804j0237lrr0qh/resource-secured/?target=fulltext.pdf&sid=cijxlnx1xmwzu1st3lzje5w2&sh=www.springerlink.com
References

    Comments

    This tab will disappear in 5 seconds.

    Comments on:

    European plaice - Icelandic, Iceland, Iceland, Bottom trawls

    comments powered by Disqus