(Danish seine and Bottom Trawl from Iceland)
The size of European plaice populations in Iceland is uncertain, but recently appears to be increasing. Concerns about habitat damage and bycatch make this flatfish a "Good Alternative."
Fluke, Hen Fish, Plaice, Plaice-fluke
The term flatfish includes flounder, sole, plaice and halibut. Some Atlantic flounder species are sold as sole; however, "true" sole only occur in the Pacific Ocean. Atlantic flatfishes are known as hirame when prepared for sushi.
European plaice is a flatfish that ranges from the western Mediterranean to the North Sea and Iceland. Population size is uncertain, but appears to be increasing in recent years.
European plaice is caught with a variety of gear including Danish seine, bottom trawl, bottom gillnet and bottom longline. Bottom trawls and Danish seines can cause damage to seafloor habitats, especially in areas where cold-water corals and sponges live. However, Danish seines are generally operated only on sandy seafloors, which are resilient to damage and recover faster. Set gears, such as bottom gillnets and bottom longlines, have a moderate effect on seafloor habitat.
In Iceland, plaice is primarily caught in mixed fisheries for cod, haddock, redfish, saithe and other species. Bycatch rates for the fisheries are not known, although it's important to note that Iceland has policies in place to reduce the wasteful discard of accidentally captured marine life.
Overall, European plaice is a "Good Alternative" due to uncertainties in population size and the extent of bycatch in the fishery.