Certifier : 
Acoura Marine Limited trading as LRQA
Certified status : 
Combined with another assessment
Certified since : 
23 Sep 2010
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

  • No longer in the program
    MSC UoC Number Species Gear Type Ocean Area Status (Units of Certification) Certificate Code
    UoC-0264 European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Trawls - Bottom trawls: <100mm cod end mesh 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31231 (F-ACO-0067)
    UoC-1624 European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Trawls - Bottom trawls: >100mm and <120mm cod end mesh 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31231 (F-ACO-0067)
    UoC-1625 European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) Trawls - Bottom trawls: UoC3: >120mm cod end mesh 27 (Atlantic, Northeast) Withdrawn MSC-F-31231 (F-ACO-0067)

View glossary of terms

Catch by Species

Species Reported Catch Year Metric Tonnes
European plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) 2018 1,107

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 can be vessels or other client group members (e.g. companies that own vessels and/or companies that are named as eligible to handle certified product covered within the fishery certificate scope). Please refer to the fishery certificate statement on additional product specific eligibility criteria (e.g. product eligibility limitations, eligibility date, exclusive points of landing and the point where Chain of Custody certificate is required). Please consult the fishery Public Certification Report for product eligibility rationale.

Documents Published on Files
Vessel List 30 Oct 2020 1 files

About this Fishery

In 1999, the Dutch Osprey Group fishery decided to catch North Sea plaice in a different way, using twin rigging. This consumes much less energy, and the larger meshes reduces undesired bycatch. Its lighter gear has less impact on the seabed, which is crucially important for sustainable fishery for plaice. The group received MSC certification for their sustainable fishing methods for North Sea plaice in 2010.

In order to receive MSC certification, the Osprey Group made several commitments with bodies like the North Sea Foundation and the WWF, respecting voluntary area closures throughout the year and ceasing activity during the spawning period.

Cees de Boer from the Osprey Group, himself a member of a fishing family from Urk, believes that MSC certification has not only improved sustainability but also given the fishery a market advantage: "Onboard we use new procedures that are focused on landing an even better quality. Besides sustainability, we are trying to stand out with our quality. It gives a completely new dimension to our work that we have to get used to. So far we have been extremely satisfied with our new way of working. Now we are sure to receive a reasonable price for our fish."

Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) image © Scandinavian Fishing Year Book

Market Information

The produce is sold whole and filleted (fresh & frozen) throughout the EU.