Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Combined with another assessment
Certified since : 
24 Mar 2011
Certificate expires : 
24 Nov 2019


Fisheries are composed of one or more parts, each of which is entitled to receive an MSC certificate. These parts or “units” are defined by their target stock(s), fishing gear type(s) and if relevant vessel type(s), and the fishing fleets or groups of vessels.


Some or all units that participated in this fishery are now covered by another assessment. Please see the Joint demersal fisheries in the North Sea and adjacent waters for more information.


Units of Certification & Certificate Information

  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification)
    UoC-0254 European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Gillnets And Entangling Nets - Gillnets 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-0253 European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Seine Nets - Boat or vessel seines - Danish seines 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn
    UoC-0255 European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Trawls - Bottom trawls 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn

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Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) 2017 11,755

Information is provided by an independent Conformity Assessment Body as live weight (the weight of species at the time of catch, before processing) and where a fishing season covers multiple years, the end year is given as the reported catch year. Additional information is available in the latest report, see the assessments page.

About this Fishery

European plaice is a common flatfish that can be found from the Barents Sea to the Mediterranean, and in the northeast Atlantic as far north as Greenland. It is a demersal (bottom-dwelling) species, found at depths of 10-50 m. They tend to burrow into sandy and muddy seabeds during the day and remain stationary for long periods.

Plaice is the most important flatfish caught by fisheries in Europe and one of the most commonly eaten fish in north German and Danish cuisine.

Many members of the Danish Fishermen’s Producer Organization (DFPO) catch plaice. These include 150 set net, 30 Danish Seine and 100 trawl vessels.

Plaice populations in the North Sea had become depleted, but the fisheries has rebuilding strategies in place and the total spawning population has since increased substantially. A long-term management plan is being implemented with the aim of increasing the stock and setting harvest levels that will allow plaice to be fished sustainably.

Landings of any other species must be recorded and reported, and there are minimum landing size regulations for cod, common sole, turbot and hake.

Market Information

Plaice landed in Denmark is mainly exported as chilled whole fish to northern European markets. It is also consumed domestically and, to a lesser degree, exported as frozen fillets to a variety of European countries.