Last updated on 21 November 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Microstomus kitt

SPECIES NAME(s)

Lemon sole

COMMON NAMES

lemon sole, lemon dab, Mary sole, Merry sole, smear dab, sweet fluke, sand fluke, sole fluke, sand sole, tobacco fluke

The information on the stock identity in the north sea is still scarce. Available information based on tagging studies suggests that lemon sole in the western English Channel could be considered as a separate stock (ICES, 2010; ICES, 2011).


ANALYSIS

Strengths

Survey indices suggest that the stock abundance is stable. ICES provide catch advice for this stock; discards estimates are available for recent years (2013 and 2014).

Weaknesses

No analytical assessment is undertaken and biological data is missing. The stock condition is not completed known since there are not reference points defined. Scientific advice and management areas do not correspond. TAC is set jointly with another species – witch.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

< 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 8

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

NOT YET SCORED


RECOMMENDATIONS

CATCHERS & REGULATORS

1. Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
2. Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
3. Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
4. Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN

1. Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

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
North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat, Eastern English Channel EU Denmark Beam trawls
Danish seines
Single boat bottom otter trawls
Netherlands Beam trawls
Danish seines
Single boat bottom otter trawls
United Kingdom Beam trawls
Danish seines
Single boat bottom otter trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Strengths

Survey indices suggest that the stock abundance is stable. ICES provide catch advice for this stock; discards estimates are available for recent years (2013 and 2014).

Weaknesses

No analytical assessment is undertaken and biological data is missing. The stock condition is not completed known since there are not reference points defined. Scientific advice and management areas do not correspond. TAC is set jointly with another species – witch.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 28 July 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Review the FishSource profile and publish or share online relevant missing information in your possession or those accessible to you.
2. Encourage scientists to share their studies/publications with FishSource by commenting on the profile and uploading a hyperlink to the document.
3. Work with scientists on the collection of data and make them accessible online.
4. Encourage the institutionalization of data collection and publication.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Advise your suppliers that currently the FishSource profile reflects that there is not enough information publicly available on this fishery and you are unable to make an accurate determination of the sustainability status. Request that they advise the relevant authorities of the situation and that efforts need to be made to collect and publish data and disclose data sources to FishSource to better inform buying decisions.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 3 July 2015

Until 2014, lemon sole (Microstomus kitt) was assessed in the Working Group on Assessment of New MoU Species and based on data limited stocks (category 3). Biennial advice for lemon sole was given in 2013based on survey trends. Since 2014, lemon sole was included to the data call for the Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal Stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak (WGNSSK) (ICES 2015b).

No analytical assessment is currently conducted and information on stock structure, biological data, and catch-at-age information is needed (ICES, 2015a).

Current assessment is based on survey trends based on commercial catches (international landings and discards), one survey index (IBTS Q1) andannual maturity data from surveys (ICES, 2015a). Surveys providing information on distribution, abundance and length frequency for lemon sole in area IV, division VIId and division IIIa are the International Bottom Trawl Survey (IBTS) in quarter 1 and quarter 3, and the Beam Trawl Survey (BTS; only area IV) in quarter 3. (ICES, 2015b). The IBTS Q1 survey was applied as the index of stock development. Results of this survey indicated that the highest concentrations of this species occur in the north western part of the North Sea (ICES, 2015b).

Catch yields and age compositions for lemon sole for 2013 and 2014 were submitted for the first time to the InterCatch system prior to the 2015 WGNSSK meeting, enabling the estimation of discard rates (by weight) for those years (ICES, 2015b).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 3 July 2015

The advice is based on surveys indices, comparing the two latest index values (index A) with the three preceding values (index B), multiplied by the recent advised landings. The index is estimated to have decreased by less than 20% and thus the uncertainty cap was not applied (ICES, 2015a). Discards data have been made available for 2013 and 2014 and ICES is now able to provide catch advice for this stock.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has released its advice for lemon sole in ICES Subarea IV and Divisions IIIa & VIId. ICES advises that catch in 2016 and 2017 should be no more than 5,655 tonnes (discards included) each, i.e.landings of no more than 3,959 tonnes considering no changes in discards average estimated for 2013-2014.

Reference Points

Last updated on 03 Jul 2015

There are no reference points defined for this stock.

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 3 July 2015

There is no information on the state of the stock and fishery relative to reference points. The available survey information indicates that the mature biomass is stable for the time-series (1983-2015) (ICES, 2015a,b). In recent years, catches have been increasing for the lowest value obtained in 2010,

Trends

Last updated on 03 Jul 2015

Higher catches were observed during the 80’s. After that, a variable period was observed until the late 90’s where a decreasing trend occurred, reaching the minimum catch value in 2010. Survey indices (1983-2015) show a stable trend of the stock size.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 3 July 2015

No specific management objectives are known. The EU TAC is set for ICES Division IIa & Subarea IV for lemon sole together with another flatfish species – witch. Since 2011, the set TAC for both species is 6,391 tonnes. The UK holds 60% of the TAC (Council Regulation (EU) No 2015/104).

Lemon sole is mainly a bycatch species in mixed fisheries. Management of lemon sole and witch under a combined species TAC prevents effective control of the single-species exploitation rates and could potentially lead to overexploitation of either species (ICES, 2015a).

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 31 July 2015

In 2014, total catch was 5,120 tons, representing an increase of 13% in relation to the previous year.

Lemon sole is mainly a bycatch species in the North Sea demersal fisheries. This fishery is mainly undertaken by otter trawl (59% of the total catches) and beam trawls (32%). Large effort reductions of about 60% in beam and otter trawl fisheries took place in the period 2000–2012 (STECF, 2014 in ICES, 2015a).

In terms of compliance, for 2013, total catches of lemon sole and witch (3,984 tonns) in ICES division II and IV (to be coincident with set TAC) was well below the set TAC (6,391 tonnes) (European Union, 1995-2015 ).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
Other Species

Last updated on 3 July 2015

Lemon sole is mainly a bycatch species in the North Sea demersal fisheries. Large effort reductions of about 60% in beam and otter trawl fisheries took place in the period 2000–2012 (STECF, 2014).
Discarding rate is 30% of the total catch.

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 20 January 2017

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Management of lemon sole and witch under a combined species TAC prevents effective control of the single-species exploitation rates and could potentially lead to overexploitation of either species. However, the stock size is considered stable (ICES, 2015a,b). There is no management plan in place.

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is < 6.

The TAC should be set for each species separately and the areas for TAC advice and set TAC should be coincident.

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

In 2013, total catches of lemon sole and witch (3,984 tonnes) in ICES division II and IV (to be coincident with set TAC) was well below the set TAC (6,391 tonnes) (European Union, 1995-2015).

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2017 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

The stock status is unknown but the survey stock size estimations indicate a stable trend (ICES, 2015a).

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)* Currently, scientific advice and management areas and species do not correspond: scientific advice refers to lemon sole in Subarea IV and Divisions IIIa and VIId; while the TAC is set jointly with another species (witch, <em>Glyptocephalus cynoglossus</em>), and for areas IIa and IV (ICES, 2011; EU No. 40/2013).

*2)* Landings data in the scores datasheet refers to Subarea IV and Divisions IIIa and VIId. Discards data only included since 2013.

*3)* Advised TAC for 2016 and 2017 is 5,655 tonnes including discards, This implies landings of no more than 3,959 tonnes considering no changes in discards average estimated for 2013-2014.

*4)* Index for mature biomass for Subarea IV (kg hr-1; from IBTS Q1) is presented here as proxy of the Spawning Stock Biomass index.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. Council Regulation (EU) No 2015/104 of 19 January 2015 fixing for 2015 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, for Union vessels, in certain non-Union waters, amending Regulation (EU) No 43/2014 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 779/2014. Official Journal of the European Union http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32015R0104&from=EN
  2. Council Regulation (EU) No 40/2013 of 21 January 2013 fixing for 2013 the fishing opportunities available in EU waters and, to EU vessels, in certain non-EU waters for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks which are subject to international negotiations or agreements, 100 pp.http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:023:0054:0153:EN:PDF
  3. EC, 2011. Council Regulation (EC) No 57/2011 of 18 January 2011, fixing for 2011 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in EU waters and, for EU vessels, in certain non-EU waters.http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:024:0001:0125:EN:PDF
  4. European Union, 1995-2015. EUROSTAT. Catches - North-east Atlantic. Last update: 21-11-2014. Available online at 31 July 2015. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database
  5. ICES, 2010. Report of the Working Group on Assessment of New MoU Species (WGNEW), 11-15 October 2010, ICES HQ, Denmark (ICES CM 2010/ACOM: 21). 185 pp.http://www.ices.dk/reports/ACOM/2010/WGNEW/WGNEW%202010%20.pdf
  6. ICES, 2011. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, Book 6: North Sea. 6.4.30 Lemon sole in Subarea IV and Divisions IIIa and VIId.http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2011/2011/lem-nsea.pdf
  7. ICES, 2012. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee, 2012. Book 6: The North Sea. 6.4.30: Lemon sole in Subarea IV and Divisions IIIa and VIId.http://www.ices.dk/committe/acom/comwork/report/2012/2012/lem-nsea.pdf
  8. ICES, 2015a. Report of the ICES Advisory Committee. Book 6: North Sea. 6.3.14 Lemon sole (Microstomus kitt) in Subarea IV and Divisions IIIa and VIId (North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat, Eastern English Channel).ICES Advice 2015. 6 pphttp://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/acom/2015/WGNSSK/25%20WGNSSK%20report%20-%20Sec%2023%20Lemon%20sole%20in%20IV,%20IIIa%20and%20VIId.pdf
  9. ICES, 2015b. Report of the Working Group on the Assessment of Demersal Stocks in the North Sea and Skagerrak (WGNSSK), 28 April–7 May 2015. ICES CM 2015/ACOM:13. Pp 903-919: Lemon sole in Subarea IV (North Sea) and Divisions IIIa (Skager-rak - Kattegat) and Division VIId (Eastern Channel). http://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/acom/2015/WGNSSK/25%20WGNSSK%20report%20-%20Sec%2023%20Lemon%20sole%20in%20IV,%20IIIa%20and%20VIId.pdf
References

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    Lemon sole - North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat, Eastern English Channel

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