- Certifier :
- Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
- Certified status :
- Combined with another assessment
- Certified since :
- 04 Jun 2009
- Certificate expires :
- 17 Dec 2021
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 Ekofish Group and Osprey Trawlers North Sea Twin-rigged Plaice for more information.
Units of Certification & Certificate Information
Catch by Species
|Species||Reported Catch Year||Metric Tonnes|
|European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)||2018||1,587|
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.
Eligibility, client groups and vessel lists
A fishery may choose to define the members of the fishery certificate. These members may be vessels or other client group members (client group members may be companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle product from that fishery).
|Vessel List||30 Jul 2020||1 files|
About this Fishery
North Sea plaice is an important species for the European flatfish fleet. The Dutch Ekofish Group, which operates in the central North Sea between Scotland and Denmark, was the first to receive MSC certification for this species.
The fishery uses twin-rigged otter trawl fishing gear. This involves towing two cone-shaped nets side by side, close to or in contact with the seabed. The net has a large mesh size (120-140mm), which means there is little bycatch.
The fishery operates under a strict quota management regime, closes during the plaice spawning period and voluntarily avoids a number of sensitive areas. The North Sea plaice stock is assessed on an annual basis. Stocks have been growing recently, and this is expected to continue under current harvest levels.
Twin-rigged otter trawling is a novel technique for fishing North Sea plaice. As part of its certification, the Ekofish Group has committed to further researching its impacts on seabed habitats, and evaluating how cod bycatch in the fishery affects the overall recovery of cod stocks in the North Sea.
“We are persuading other twin-rig fishing vessels who want to make the same changes as us to join our group. That way we can bring more MSC plaice to the market.”
Louwe de Boer, Director, Ekofish Group
Plaice image © Rob op den Brouw
Plaice caught by Ekofish Group is sold domestically in the Netherlands and may be exported elsewhere in Northern Europe.